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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/16/2014 in Articles

  1. 7 points
    I'd never gone up to Naknek this late... not many people have except locals I'm told. And even then, didn't see but a couple of boats on the river today. Stayed at Katmai Trophy Lodge near the "rapids" on the Naknek, owned by the Johnson family. They also own Naknek River Camp at the head of the river, at Lake Camp. The camp is closed because all their water lines are exposed, above ground. KTL is a regular lodge with power (electricity) and indoor plumbing so they could stay open all year, if there was fishing to be had. I went up to spend time with good friend, John McCloskey, one of their main guides at KTL. John did a spey casting clinic for us at the resort last December. John had 3 clients this week from Georgia. They are clients of his on his home waters in north GA. Jason, Jane and their 9 year old son John. John specializes is swinging flies and the Cooke's were there to partake. The river was a little high and off color due to rains and an east wind. John says the rainbows don't like dirty water. Water temp was 43-44 degrees. We had a variety of weather. Three days of winds in excess of 40 mph and a couple "breezy" days. Rain everyday except one. But temps stayed decent - 45 - 53 degrees daytime and rarely dropped below 40 at night. Unseasonably warm, but always windy and rainy. I'd call it normal RAW Alaska weather for late October. Fishing was good the first day in spite of heavy winds but the bite steadily slowed down each day, like the rainbows were leaving the river. We were seeing some flesh flowing by but not much. Nothing else for them to eat really except may be a sculpin here and there. They winter in Naknek Lake and will migrate there about now. John says they stated one week too long. But the rainbows we did catch were impressive. They swung flesh and sculpins and I threw my spinning gear and 1/8th ounce jigs. I used mostly 4-pound line but did use 6-pound occasionally. The bigger the rainbow and easier they were to land, mainly because they were so fat with flesh. We fished flats - fast water spots with depressions and rocks holding fish and depths not more than 3 feet deep. That's what made my jig work, they hit it even if it was real close to the surface - and the swing or worked out in front of me. I landed 3 - 30+inch bows, 6 bows between 25 and 29, one at 20 and 2 about 15 inches. I lost a couple - one at the net and one broke off. The best color was black/purple and sculpin/ginger a close second. John played around with the jig and loved it. He couldn't get over how effective it was. I know he hooked several rainbows and landed one that I saw. They caught a half dozen swinging flies. I know Jason landed a couple pushing 30 inches. They saw one bear. I wasn't fishing at the time though so I didn't see it. We didn't fish any other areas - stay below the Counting Towers and across from King Island. There were 2 other guide boats out all week with 2 clients each... that's it.
  2. 7 points
    Took a family trip down to Mississippi to get on some big crappie. Something I’ve been wanting to do for years. Why have I waited so long? It was incredible! We arrived Friday late afternoon for check in and got settled in our cabin. Went down to the outdoor pavilion called “The Slab Shack” for dinner. 1 inch thick strip steaks, sea salt crusted baked potatoes, coleslaw, grilled asparagus, garlic bread, key lime pie, and home maid pineapple ice cream. Woke up early next morning for sausage biscuit sandwiches and headed for the water. Spider rigged till about noon for some monster slabs picking up 28 keepers over 13 inches. Had sandwiches on the boat and pizza waiting for us back at the slab shack. Put all the fish on ice for pictures the next day. Dinner the second night was hand cut pork chops, salad, baked beans, coleslaw, corn and onions, blackberry cobbler and homemade blackberry ice cream. Up early again for breakfast down at the Slab Shack of fried ham steaks and biscuits, then on the water by the crack of daylight. Caught my largest crappie ever of 16 3/4 inches and 31 more in the 14-16 inch range. Back to the Slab Shack by new to grill burgers and chips for lunch. Big photo shoot of both boats of family and fish for two days of fishing. We ended up boating 122 keepers. After pictures, the guides went to cleaning fish. They got that dialed in. Final dinner was smoke ribs, coleslaw, baked beans, bread, pasta salad, cobbler and ice cream. I will be going again!
  3. 6 points
    Recently, as part of the National Association for Interpretation conference in Springfield, MO, I was able to tour the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, the oldest hatchery in operation in the United States. Since 1888, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery has been using local spring water to raise many different species of fish including bass, bluegill, catfish and rainbow trout — and even freshwater mussels like the endangered fatmucket mussel. Rainbow trout continue to be its most plentiful fish species, with about 250,000 stocked into our own Lake Taneycomo each year. The cool, spring water is perfect for raising trout. But perhaps the most interesting species of fish currently being raised at Neosho are two native, endangered species; the Topeka shiner and the pallid sturgeon. Restoration efforts are underway for both species. Topeka shiners are a small minnow found in cold, clear streams. Their populations have declined due to habitat loss and pollution, and they have been on the endangered species list since 1998. The Neosho National Fish Hatchery now uses the raceways once designated for brown trout to raise Topeka shiners, which have successfully reproduced in the hatchery. In December, 2,200 young shiners were released into two prairie streams in Missouri. Pallid sturgeon are an ancient, big river fish that thrive on bottom-feeding. Adults are collected each year and used at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery for spawning. Newly hatched pallid sturgeon are then kept at the hatchery for two years before being released into lower sections of the Missouri River, where they are native. Pallid sturgeon numbers have been declining mostly due to the manipulation of waterways through channelization and dams. More than 15,000 pallid sturgeon are raised each year at Neosho. If you’re ever in Neosho — just an-hour-and-47-minute drive from Branson, you should stop at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery and learn more at the recently built visitor center. During our tour I was reminded of how fortunate we are to have such an incredible resource at our fingertips and of how fragile these species can be. Fishing is truly a privilege. With the continued help of our state and federal governments, Missourians will be able to enjoy seeing and fishing for a wide variety of species for years to come.
  4. 5 points

    Rim Shoals 9/18

    I took the boat to Rim Shoals this morning and ran to an area that is somewhat protected from the heavy flows we are having (14k cfs). Got out of the boat and I could see 4 or 5 trout holding in a run just below a couple of big rocks. First cast I hooked a nice rainbow on a Y2K but it broke off on the 7x tippet. I retied and caught another 5 rainbows and 1 cutthroat in the same run. Once that spot slowed down I moved downstream and picked up another dozen rainbows on the Y2K/pheasant tail dropper combo. When it was time to quit I walked back to the boat and made a cast in the run where I lost the rainbow earlier. The indicator went down and I had another nice rainbow on. I finally got her in and when I went to remove the hook I saw my Y2K that I lost earlier stuck in her jaw along with the Y2K on my rig. Guess she really liked Y2k's. Here's a couple of pics...
  5. 5 points
    I know it's only been two days since my last report, but conditions have change so much that hardly none of the June 26 report holds true for fishing Lake Taneycomo. Here's why. The short answer is that the spill gates at Table Rock Dam were closed yesterday morning. In just a matter of a few days, Beaver Lake was dropped from a high of 1,131.5 feet above sea level to its present level of 1,129.1 feet I think the release was about 25,000 cubic feet per second of water at the heaviest flow. This was in response to a four-inch rain over the weekend that sent the upper White River and other feeder streams out of their banks. Just north of the basin, flash floods sadly inundated the towns of Anderson and Cassville, Missouri, as well as other communities in the area. All of this runoff water eventually feeds Table Rock and that sent its level from 917 to 921 feet -- its present level. When Table Rock hit 920 feet, 10 spill gates were opened to allow a little more than 20,000 c.f.s. of water to pass through to Lake Taneycomo. Only after a few days, the inflow of water into both lakes became manageable through only turbine releases, so spill gates on both dams were closed (Thursday morning.) Presently, Table Rock is releasing 6,000 c.f.s. (two units) of water in the mornings and 10,000 c.f.s. (three units) of water in the afternoons. Water temperature is about 47 degrees and clear. And with little to no rain in the seven-day forecast, I believe this is the most water we'll see for a while. We may see even slower generation in the near future. One other thing about lake levels. Note that Bull Shoals is now at 687.9 feet and rising. Beaver and Bull Shoals are being held at high levels because of the flooding on the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers. Once these rivers can take water releases from the White River basin, both our tail water, Beaver's tail water and the White River tail water will see heavy flows, probably through the month of August. When the spill gates at Table Rock Dam were open, we saw an influx of warm water that affected our scud population (freshwater shrimp.) They had babies basically . . . lots of babies. It's amazing how fast they multiply given the right environment. We also saw a pretty good flow of small threadfin shad and other small forage fish. Yes, the "white bite" was on! And so was the scud bite. And boy was it good!! And it still is. We are seeing some of the most beefed up rainbows in all my years of fishing this lake. We are catching 17- to 19-inch rainbows that weigh three to four pounds, in some cases, and it's not all just big bellies either. These fish are brutes -- big shoulders -- just big. And fight . . . I've always said the Alaskan rainbows we catch fight harder than any trout I know, but these are giving them a run for their money. It's exciting. Fishing from the cable below the dam down to Trophy Run, stay in the middle and drift, using a drift rig, 1/8th-ounce bell weight, four-pound line and either a single or double fly rig -- #12 or #14 scud in dark gray, olive or brown. You can run it with an egg, shad fly or San Juan Worm as the second fly also. Some are using a white or cream Mega Worm and catching fish. You can drift these flies all the way down to Trout Hollow but stay either in the middle of the lake or on the inside bend -- stay off the bluff side. Jigs - white, of course, have been working, but as the "white bite" lessens, switch to a sculpin, olive, sculpin/ginger or peach, brown/orange or black jig. Use four-pound line when throwing 1/8th- or 3/32nd- ounce jigs and two-pound line when throwing smaller jigs. Try a smaller jig under a float. Drifting night crawlers or orange PowerEggs from Fall Creek down to Short Creek has been good. I've been fishing the inside bank from Cooper Creek down to Monkey Island throwing a variety of jigs and catching some real nice rainbows.
  6. 5 points

    Norfork 4/23

    Made a trip to Ackerman access this morning and the water was down to minimum flow. There were some caddis hatching along with lots of midges. Elk hair caddis worked good until the clouds came in around 10:00 and then the caddis hatch dissipated. I switched over to a ruby midge and caught this pretty cutthroat along with some more decent rainbows.
  7. 5 points

    Quick Driftless Trip

    Headed up to Decorah, IA last weekend for a couple days prior to driving down to the Quad Cities to see Kathy's mom. Stayed at a local B&B, and when the owner asked what we had planned we said a little fishing among other things. Turns out his dad owns a farm right on a small stream that bisects the IA/MN border north of Decorah, so he gave us info on how to get there. Kathy grew up fishing but fly fishing is pretty new to her. I was determined to get her into a position to catch a wild trout. We headed up to MN Sunday morning and picked up our licenses and headed back to the stream. I tied on a small white dry to try for some splashy risers near where we parked. It was calm, glassy water and I couldn't get a taker. Kathy did get a nice photo at least: After that I tied a pheasant tail nymph to each of our tippets and we headed downstream a few hundred yards. It wasn't too long before we had a couple little brown trout, including Kathy's first wild trout and first brown trout. And...both of our first Minnesota fish. There were a couple bald eagles gliding around much of the time we were fishing. We were both watching one carrying something when he/she landed in its nest not far from where we had been fishing. It was up in an evergreen tree and we hadn't noticed it. Kinda cool. We both really enjoyed the few hours we fished, and promised the next time we're up there we'll allow more time for it.
  8. 5 points
    Considering all things, I don't think you can ask for better fishing conditions on our lake this fall. Lake Taneycomo, a tail water, is subject to low oxygen conditions because it is a tailwater. We get our water from the depths of Table Rock Lake where the dissolved oxygen bottoms out this time of year. But when the water is run through Table Rock Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adds liquid oxygen to the water in the turbines, bringing the oxygen levels up to fish-livable levels. But in our present case, our lake water continues to register at high levels of oxygen. Just today we measured 8.0 parts per million -- which is incredibly high. Our water temperature remains low, which is also helpful, at 53 degrees. The other thing to consider is generation. For fly fishermen who like to wade and fish below the dam, this fall season has given them just what they love - low water conditions. They've been seeing many trophy browns - and rainbows - and they've been hooking a few of them. Personally, I don't venture up below the dam anymore to wade and fish. The main reason is that I don't like crowds. I take the option to boat to where I want to fish and thereby find good numbers of trout of all sizes to catch . . . without the crowds. But if I did, I'd fish this way: My friend and fellow fly shop owner, Tim Homesley, drives over from Crane and his home water, Roaring River, and fishes our tailwater several times in the fall season. He likes to fish the "skinny water," which is my favorite, too. Rainbows especially hug the banks with their backs out of the water sometimes, digging in the gravel to pick up a bug or two. Casting a small sow bug or scud, even a big mop worm or mega worm, and working it in and around these feeding rainbows will catch them. These trout are typically veterans, too, full of colors and larger than the young stockers just arriving on the scene. In the past, I know anglers have scored big browns and rainbows stripping soft hackles and cracklebacks well below the hatchery outlets and below Rebar and the Chute (below the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp) where the current is still moving from the area but is slower, not calm. If there is a breeze and a chop on the surface -- better yet. And then there's the streamers like sculpins, Hybernators, leaches, woolly buggers and Pine Squirrels. Strip these in the bigger, deeper pools out in front of outlet #1, the pool below outlet #2 and from the Rocking Chair down to the Chute. Is it time to go to 7x tippet? Maybe. I did for a little bit last month, but our water seems to have some color to it now, so I've gone back to 6x fluorocarbon, and it's worked pretty well. With the leaves dropping pretty fast now, we're starting to fish the Zebra Midge under a small float 12 inches deep and targeting midging trout around the leaf clusters on the lake. There's something about these leaves that attracts fish -- whether there's bugs on the falling leaves or midges that attach themselves to the leaves before flying off. We're doing this about any place on the lake right now, especially towards evening time. I've been fishing with a scud (fly) a lot this week and doing very well! So much so that I videoed some of my fishing and posted it to show exactly what and how I was catching rainbows. We've been throwing 1/32nd-ounce jigs with two-pound line and catching some good fish around the dock and up lake around Short Creek. Sculpin/ginger or brown/orange with a brown head best colors. If you're using four-pound line, throw a 3/32nd-ounce jig instead. We've had some requests for fly tying demonstrations, so Duane and I did a few this morning and posted them. Bait fishing, for whatever reason, has been slow -- not terrible -- but slow. Anglers have had to work to catch them off the dock, but there have been spurts where you'll have a bunch biting, and then the bites will slow down. Again, two-pound line will catch more fish, especially if you're fishing with a night crawler or Powerbait. Air-injected night crawlers have been the best though.
  9. 5 points

    A windy trip

    Where to go , what to do? Really wanted to make the run to the Spring in Oklahoma for whites but with the wind forecast Curtice and the BilletHead met at the Aldrich ramp and jetted up the river looking for fish. Higher than the last time I was up there. We shot up to a couple of spots for a try. Anchored near a cut bank with some slower water. We rigged up the fly rods. Curt tied on a purple clouser and I a good old pink over white clouser. First cast this is what I got , 18 incher and not too shabby I thought. We casted some more and about ten casts later I had another walleye but came off at the surface. A few casts later I had another,19.5 inches . Funny how they bit. I would cast out and let the clouser swing. Strip back slowly. When I thought I had enough and wanted in I would strip fast to get line ready for another cast. This is when I got my hits stripping fast. We worked over several places. Whites were pretty scarce. I landed one and Curt two or three. It wouldn't be much of a trip if I did not catch something weird, Seen several other fishermen and three of those guys were fellow fly fisher folks. No one was tearing them up. Starting water temps 49 to 50 degrees. Did hit one stretch of 54 on way back to ramp. Most of the day it averaged 52 degrees. A nice day out. Wind was strange in places. We knew it was South West but in places it was blowing up river seeming to come from the North. Air temp started in the fifties and finished out close to seventy-five. Trying to decide if I should do this trip again in the AM? Also Trolling motor acting strange, got a spare that is working, BilletHead
  10. 5 points
    It was supposed to be a memorable trout fishing birthday trip for his brother. But on the last day of a cold and windy outing at Lake Taneycomo, Ken Adam is the one who got a gift he'll never forget. Adam, fishing Monday with brother Steve in an adjacent boat, said he was almost ready to call it a day because of the lousy weather and murky water when he flipped a white and purple McStick lure up close to a floating log. <READ MORE>
  11. 5 points

    Our Trip West

    Well, ness is into a new phase of life: where family vacations are mostly behind us now, and the kids are grown up enough they aren’t doing a whole lot that requires the parents around. That, and a loosening of the work policy disallowing more than one week of vacation at a time, made for the first 2-week vacation I’ve ever taken. This trip was to be just my 19 year old son Michael and me. The plan was to head west into Colorado, then up into Wyoming and back through South Dakota, doing as much fishing as we could (or wanted to), while taking in Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. I didn’t want to mess with camping for that long, so we got set up in an eclectic set of cabins, hotels and motels for the stops we had planned. The first stop was Estes Park / Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ve been a number of times as a family, so we were pretty familiar with the layout. We stayed in a rustic cabin at Cascade Cottages, which is just inside the Fall River entrance to the Park. We’ve stayed with them a number of times, and Richard and Grace, who run it, have become friends of ours over the years. Two of the nicest people you could possibly meet. They do everything the way they did it 50 years ago – hand-written reservation system, check or cash only. No TV, internet, phone or Wi-Fi, and no cell coverage. The cabin has what we call the “essential 6” – bed, shower, toilet, fridge, stove and heat – and nothing else. We spent a few days there, fishing some in the park with a few little browns to show for it, and also taking in the spectacular scenery RMNP has to offer. My son’s a big Steven King fan, so we had to hit the Stanley Hotel of course. Spent more time in Estes and less time fishing than I wanted, but hey – it's give and take that makes these things work, right? Saw tons of wildlife as we always do (elk, big horn sheep, marmot, turkey, mule deer). This big dude was laying in the grass next to the parking lot of a motel. It's perty up there! Our next stop was Saratoga, Wyoming where we planned to hit the Encampment and North Platte rivers. We stayed at the century-old Wolf Hotel, which turned out to be a happening place with a great restaurant and bar – which seemed out of place for such a sleepy little town. First day we headed out for the Encampment Wilderness /Hog Park area. We got pretty crossed up on the crappy, unmarked, Forest Service roads, but got some help from a couple ranchers right before I blew a gasket. First stop was the beautiful Encampment, a freestone river that runs north out of Colorado. Not much happening there so we gulped down some snacks and headed over to the tailwater of a small reservoir. Man, that was some great looking water! We started walking downstream so we could fish it back up with dries and droppers. Shortly into the walk I couldn’t resist cutting off to the left to check out a little side creek. Michael says, ‘Come on dad, that’s too shallow’, just about 10 seconds before the old man proved him wrong and hooked into a (relatively) nice fish. Well, we all know the dangers of walking along in the tall grass next to a stream, especially when you’re not focusing on your footing. While I was catching up to the fish I stepped into a side channel, and Michael couldn’t resist taking a photo. I submit it here so the OAF smart-azzes have something to work with. But, I kept him on. We had a couple of fish out of the main channel – my best one came just as we were leaving. Unfortunately the camera got knocked off its settings, so the picture is crap. Deal with it The next day we hired a guide out of Hack’s Tackle in Saratoga for a 10-mile float on the North Platte River. The first fish of the day was a nice rainbow that I horsed and lost. After he broke off he did three or four leaps out of the water with my tackle clearly visible dangling from his mouth. When I reeled in and inspected the tippet, I saw it had been rubbed flat – which I realized happened when I wrapped it around an overhead cable a few hundred yards back. My fault x2 on that one. The guide was too eager to point out how badly had messed that one up, which ended up costing him a few bucks on the back end . Not a stellar day on that great river, but the catching was fairly steady. The guide was pretty good, and definitely worked his arse off. Not so good with the teaching aspect, and a little too quick to point out the flaws while never offering up an atta-boy when you got it right. Michael was pretty quick to point all that out once the guide was out of earshot. Next stop was Pinedale, Wyoming where we stayed in a nice little cabin that had a kitchenette (Log Cabin Motel). We were there to fish some of the creeks BilletHead had steered me toward in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. We were hungry so we grabbed a beer and a bite to eat at the Wind River Brewery. Those boys know how to make beer and cook too! I had an outstanding ESB and some cream of mushroom soup. After lunch we fished a really sexy looking little creek for a short time, but didn’t have much luck. After the long day in the drift boat the day before, Michael was a little petered out on fishing, so we took some time to get Michael’s casting straightened out. I had him press his elbow into his ribs and not bend at the waist. Next I relayed some of the best fly casting advice I ever got –think about it like you’re hammering a nail. Once I had his wildly-flailing arm tamed, and cured him of trying to will the line out by lurching forward and reaching, I worked with him to get the pause and timing right on his backcast. It only took a couple of minutes, and it was so satisfying – for both of us -- when that all clicked. Seeing his frustration melt away and be replaced by confidence and enthusiasm was priceless. The area around Pinedale is desert and mountains, with plenty of public land. We saw a Golden Eagle lift off with a prairie dog in its grip, lots of Pronghorn Antelope, some sage grouse (they’re big!). ...and plenty of cattle too. Had to convince some of them to move out of the way more than once! Before we left I hit the Mountain Man Museum. Very nice museum with lots of good information and artifacts relating the men that went west from around 1820 to 1840 in search of fur (primarily beaver) to fill the need created by the beaver hat fashion back east. Next day it was off to our next stop – the Grand Tetons. We stopped in Jackson Hole for a bit, mostly to get something to eat and check that one off the list. It was a mad house, and I wasn't really in the mood, so we hit the dusty trail pretty quickly. Up in the Tetons we stayed at Colter Bay Lodge on Jackson Lake. Our first day there was mostly checking out and photographing the magnificent scenery, though I did fish a little while Michael piddled around. Turns out there's only, like, four mountains in the Teton Range. Here's the big one: The following morning I roused the sleepy teenager early, determined to beat the big blob of lazy tourists rolling into Yellowstone mid-morning. This was our first time there, so we had to make the required stops. We sat with the masses waiting for Old Faithful to blow. When he finally did, the wind whipped it around and onto the crowd. My first few pictures look like steam from a big tea kettle, then the rest have mist and water on the lens. Old Faithful Inn is spectacular – spent a lot of time just wandering around marveling at the architecture and all-log construction. Then it was off to the falls and other areas for sightseeing and more photos. Along the way we pulled off at a neat-looking thermal area along the Firehole River. We walked on down to get some pictures – just like another guy was doing. Next thing I noticed, he's gone and a park ranger is hot-footing it toward us. Long story short – we weren’t supposed to be there and I picked up a $125 ticket. I was a little miffed, because we never saw any signs even though the ranger insisted we walked past ‘several’. The ‘several’ turned out to be two: one in the parking lot that was knocked down, and another out in the field that was knocked down. I had seen the one in the field, but I just figured it meant don’t go stepping on steaming stuff. It was a Yellowstone speed trap. I stood the sign in the parking lot back up, because it didn’t look like Smokey was gonna do it. The $125 picture: Carrying on a family tradition at the Divide: After a couple days based out of the south side of the park, we moved over to the east side to Pahaska Teepee. That’s a neat little spot, right on the North Fork of the Shoshone, that was originally of Buffalo Bill Cody’s lodges. Kinda of a neat spot, but like Colter Bay the cabins didn’t have kitchenettes. We had some cold food, we were tired of that and down to eating at the local, expensive, not-that-great restaurants. We did a horseback ride up into the mountains one afternoon, then wandered into Cody to check things out. Boy, that’s a true wild west town – a gunfight actually broke out right on the main street. We strolled the main drag and ogled the cowgirls. At BilletHead’s suggestion we stopped in to North Fork Anglers and met Tim Wade. A few others of you might know since he’s a native Missourian. Good guy, and we had a nice chat. After that we settled in for a gunfight and all-you-can-eat prime rib buffet at the Irma Hotel. Some fun people pics: The last evening we did the Buffalo Bill Cody Center of the West. That's an outstanding museum and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. Lots of artifacts, art, natural history stuff. I particularly enjoyed the large collection of Fredrick Remington, Charles Russell and N.C. Wyeth paintings. Lots of weapons on display, including several pieces from TV shows (such as Matt Dillon's six-shooter). Saw this along the way between Cody and Pahaska Teepee: Go figger? It kinda pains me to say we didn’t fish Yellowstone. Please refrain from telling me what a screw up that was. I know. I fished a little on the North Fork of the Shoshone, which ran right behind our cabin. I had been warned by a couple different people that there was a grizzly momma and cubs frequenting the area, plus a moose and a calf, so I was a little leery of fishing, honestly. Michael did catch a nice cuttie at the gift shop: We headed east from Pahaska Teepe through the Big Horns. Man, that was some spectacular country through there. And, along the highway for many miles was a really sexy looking creek. No time to fish, again, because we were on the long trip across Wyoming to get to Custer, SD. Custer State Park was another place I wanted to fish, but we were heading to the barn, running short on time and just couldn’t do it. We did a quick look-see at Mount Rushmore that evening, then did the 11-hour drive home the following morning. This was a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend that much one-on-one time with my baby boy. We saw a lot of stuff, and it really whetted my appetite for trips in the future. We both agreed a 10-day trip with fewer stops would be better. Now that we’ve got an idea what we like, what we don’t like and what we can skip, we’re ready to start thinking about next year. When I set this trip up, I knew we were packing a lot in. I didn’t want to camp for two solid weeks, especially with an antsy teenager along. We had a little cell coverage and a little Wi-Fi along the way, so the boy wasn’t totally cut off. But a lot of the areas we fished, or wanted to fish, are so much easier to get to if you’re camping nearby – rather than a 30-45 minute drive away in the nearest town. I guess you do it, learn, and then tweak it for next time, right? Already working on 2016. Hope you enjoyed.
  12. 4 points
    I had the honor today to captain a couple of Jr High boys from Springfield in the aforementioned tournament today on Table Rock. I had William and Sam Kuzemka in my boat. We launched out of State Park, first cast at 6:35 a.m. on the first point NW of the ramp close to the Branson Belle. They started out throwing a swim bait (grub) but I quickly switched them to a ned and it was on. They fished my smallmouth banks in Jakes, Powerline and Clevenger Coves... all the ones I could remember. I don't think I got over there any last spring so I was going off my long-time memory. Set the boat in 16-20 feet most of the time until the fog burned off about 10 a.m., then we backed out to 30 feet. I had them fish the bottom although every 3rd or 4th cast came back with the green slime. They had about 13 keepers, all smallies expect one spot. We culled a couple of 16-inchers and had one kicker brown about 3.5 pounds. All bass except the spot appeared to have spawned - they had no pouches at all.... but what do I know, I'm a trout guy. Had may be the same number of shots plus 3-4 nice gogs (which I'm going back for this week!!). The boys weighed in at 13.58 and took 2nd out of 60 teams. 260 teams in the high school division... weigh in at White Water. Needless to say there was a traffic jam getting into the lot, which was basically full when I left at the beginning of the High School weigh in period. I hope they pulled it together cause .... well you know. Ulrich was there with 2 pontoons/tanks for the catches. Babler said they do a good job keeping them alive and back in the lake.
  13. 4 points

    2 days out of Big M

    Fished with Liphunter (Mike) Tuesday morning, we started at daylight and fished until 1 PM. Real foggy to start with which limited where we went at first. We tossed Neds for most of the time, found enough fish to stay busy, just couldn't get much quality. We caught around 30 total, mostly spots, one or two largemouth and a nice keeper sized brown fish. Almost all on the Ned, did catch a few on the Kietech and Mike had one to the boat that got off of a Rock Crawler. Fish were located in the main channel off steep banks and points. Today I was solo, got out again at 7 AM and fished until 1 PM. No fog so I was able to motor to a timbered point that I knew was holding early morning fish. Got there to flat water and a few fish on top chasing shad. Threw a jerker at them, they didn't really seem to want it, but did catch a couple, one being a smallmouth that seemed to have challenges getting the bait in it's mouth. Switched over to the Keitech, slow rolled it, sometimes casting to the bank, and sometimes working the deeper water in front of the boat. Caught fish shallow and deep on it, several keepers. Read some reports on here of people catching fish with clipped tails, never noticed any like that myself, but I'll be darned if I didn't catch a nice spot that appears to have the top of its tail clipped. There's a Keitech in this fishes mouth, you can just barely see the jig head. Pretty sure this is a mean, fish was a little darker than the photo shows. Couple more: I did catch a couple on the Ned, but today was mostly about the Keitech. Water temps from 49-52.
  14. 4 points
    I have started to paint jerkbaits for big browns. Now, I am completely new to this and just diving right in head first. I purchased a fairly cheap complete airbrush kit from Hobby Lobby, water based acrylic paints, powdered mica pearl pigments, and 2 part epoxy clear coat as recommended by our very own Mr. Billethead. Thanks Marty! Been gathering various jerkbait blanks from different suppliers looking for ones I can get to suspend. I’ve been trying my hand at two different color schemes and feel like I’m starting to get them dialed in. My ultimate goal is to get a rainbow trout and brown trout pattern dial in but I’m a long ways off from that yet. It has been an enjoyable way to spend what little spare time I have this time of year sucking up some AC and staying out of the heat.
  15. 4 points
    Dan the fisherman


    I just got back from a 110 mile solo kayak trip last night on the current river. I woke up today wanting to fish ol beave’s so I got the boys ready and headed to the lake. I wasn’t expecting much success sense I haven’t been on the lake all week and didn’t know what was going on. But I was pleasantly surprised with the bite. I had bought some crappie minnows for the boys to use and pitched them about lay downs and caught quite a few fish. We must have caugh 20 or so but only kept 10 or so. I wasn’t really keeping count cuz the boys had me busy helping them. If ur into crappie this would be a good time to go. My 9 and 7 year olds tore them up for a few hours today. Here’s a couple of pics.
  16. 4 points
    Forum member Curtise headed West and the BilletHead South West. Met west of Joplin and parked Curt's modern prairie schooner. He jumped in the BilletHead's Prairie Schooner with the newfangled dugout sporting a jet drive. Farther Southwest we went through Seneca and across the border into tribal lands. Passing Casino after casino. I thought of how poetic that the first peoples were now getting even with the paleface taking their wampum. We soon made our way to the bridges twin to the boat ramp to see the parking lot pretty full. Gear stowed in the dugout we traveled up the spring river. We passed boat after boat circling spots like covered wagons landing for the night. Only difference was there was no campfire in the middle but fish they were after. It was like slalom skiing in and out of the boats wondering which side to pass on as they were in the middle and fishing each bank. Upstream we continued and by the 10c bridge. The farther up we went the less boats we seen. Our quest was the first good current and shoal. We found another boat there and two wading anglers catching fish with stringers dragging behind. We dropped anchor and strung up the rods. We would cast either towards the bank letting the fly or lure swing into the current break or vice versa into the strong current swinging into the current break. Then it happened with the BilletHead getting a hook up then Curtise at almost the same moment. A double to start the day , We continued working up and back repeating the process not only catching Whites but Crappie too. Some nice ones at that, We caught enough to keep us happy in that area but soon began up through the shoal to cast a steeper deep bank with slower water. A couple more were caught there. We then traveled farther up to another shoal and watched a couple waders catching what I think were crappie from a slack area next to current. We fished there fighting the wind and more shallow water without any catching. Dropped down to the original starting point to find two other boats. We fished there without anymore fish. Left there for trying deeper water where the masses of other boats were scattered. This time so many more that the first pass. Every size of water motor craft you could imagine here and there casting anything from tiny jigs all the way up to A- rigs the size of compact cars. Wind beginning to get worse now with mini whitecaps forming. Add to this large boats plowing water it was a mess it was . We even seen waves going over a smaller crafts sides . Fished down there amongst the crowd without another fish we decided to call it an afternoon. Had to run the riverboat slow back in the waves to keep from beating ourselves in the waves. In a couple of places they were pretty intense. I am missing the 10c launch. Hope it will be useable when the bridge is finished. People putting in and out at the ramp we finally got off the water and ready for the trip back. Trip specs were, Air temp at launch right at 40 degrees. Water temp 51 to 52 degrees. Air temp at trip end 72 and water temp finally hit 55. The BilletHead threw fly's all day, Curtise fly's and flicker shad. Clouser colors that worked were gray over white and pink over white. A white streamer worked too. Flicker shad purple back and fire tiger. Sink tip lines were used on the fly rods. Caught fish in water depths four to six or seven foot deep. Numbers between us I would say in the mid to upper twenties. Mixed sized whites both males and females. I weighed one pound a half. Big crappie without weighing say a pound fish. Did not notice any redbuds showing any color on way over but did see a hint on the way back. Good day with good friends I call it a successful trip. We tucked tail and headed back East and North East, End of story and report, BilletHead
  17. 4 points
    Lake Taneycomo is a tailwater lake below Table Rock Lake. Table Rock's dam releases water for two reasons -- flood control and generation of electricity. Recreation does not figure in to the overall plan for managing water. The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers does work with the power companies, as well as the Missouri Department of Conservation, when asked to change water flows for various, important projects. For instance, Table Rock Dam will hold generation when work is needed to be done on the lower dam at Powersite. The dam's operation is in the hands of the US Army Corp of Engineers. The entity that controls the power generation is Southwest Power Administration. Seasons There are four lakes in this White River Chain -- Beaver, Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals. Each one is managed to reflect the whole chain as to water storage simply because each one has different abilities to store a volume of water. This comes in to play when heavy, seasonable rains come, normally in the spring. That's when we may see high flows from Table Rock Dam, moving rain water down the chain of lakes to prevent flooding. Summer time brings hot temperatures and more demand for electricity. This is when we may see more heavy flows at peak times of the day, when air conditioners are running at full tilt. We also may see heavy flows after a rainy spring season, moving floods waters out of the upper lakes. Fall is normally the time we see low flows. Less demand for electricity and drier skies means less generation most years. Winters bring cold temperatures and more demand for power. We can see heavy generation during peak times during the mornings and less as it warms up in the afternoon. Flows 702.0 feet -- 000 m.w. -- 0,000 c.f.s. 703.0 feet -- 010 m.w. -- < 1,000 c.f.s. 704.0 feet -- 035 m.w. -- 2,500 c.f.s. 705.0 feet -- 055 m.w. -- 4,000 c.f.s. -- 1 turbine (unit) 705.5 feet -- 075 m.w. -- 5,000 c.f.s. 706.0 feet -- 085 m.w. -- 6,250 c.f.s. 707.0 feet -- 110 m.w. -- 8,000 c.f.s. -- 2 turbines (units) 708.0 feet -- 125 m.w. -- 9,500 c.f.s. 708.5 feet -- 165 m.w. -- 12,000 c.f.s. - 3 turbines (units) 709.0 feet -- 175 m.w. -- 13,500 c.f.s. 710.0 feet -- 200 m.w. -- 14,750 c.f.s. 711.0 feet -- 220 m.w. -- 16,000 c.f.s. - 4 turbines (units) Understand that if there's a number of units running at any one time, those units may be running at less than capacity. That's why you can't depend on flow according to the number of units reported running. You have to read the lake level and/or and cubic feet per second flow. Flow vs Wading Below the Dam Warning! A loud horn will sound when turbines come online. Get out of the water immediately. Do not wait until water is rising. Warning! Water release may increase WITHOUT any sounding horn or warning!! Be watchful, and have an exit strategy in mind. The following is a general depiction of flow conditions as to the availability to successfully wade from the shore below Table Rock Dam. 702 feet -- no generation. Wading is possible below dam. 703.0-704.5 feet -- up to 4,000 c.f.s.. Some wading on edges, at outlets, behind island across from #2 Outlet, in front of #3 Outlet and out on gravel bar, below boat ramp and above Trophy Run there's a long chute that can be good, but be careful not to get caught on rising water back to boat ramp (on foot) and Lookout Island (boat access only). The inside bend at the Lookout area along Pointe Royale's property (boat access only unless you have special access to the property, which is private). 704.5-706.5 feet -- up to 7,000 c.f.s. Wading is difficult but not impossible. Wade at the hatchery outlets and some edges, but be careful. 706.5 + feet -- Wading is restricted to the outlets only. Be very careful. Currents are strong even along the banks. If you're wading below the dam and hear the horn blast, move to the bank immediately. Don't cast a few more times, don't try to catch that last trout, don't hesitate and get caught in rising water. Many have done it and found themselves in a dangerous situation, having to wade across fast and rising water to dry ground. Some have not made it. Be smart and get to the bank as soon as you hear the horn. Call the automated service provided by the U.S.A.C.E. at 417-336-5083. It will give you real time information as to what the lake level is (above and below the dam), how many units are running and the c.f.s. flowing at that time. Other useful links: http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/topic/17240-quick-link-lake-levels/ Boating up lake with different flows on Lake Taneycomo The #1 question we get asked when it comes to boating on Lake Taneycomo is how high up lake lake can I boat? That all depends on how much water is running at Table Rock Dam. *Zero water running, lake level 701-702 feet If there is no water running, you're generally safe to boat up and past the mouth of Fall Creek to the Narrows. Stay middle to bluff side to Fall Creek and middle to right side past Fall Creek. At the Narrows, you HAVE to be on the far left, "at the tips of the tree branches" in the channel. I can't express enough how narrow this channel is and how shallow the right edge will be. The gravel is generally very dark and it is hard to see the bottom there. If there is a boat or two fishing the Narrows, don't try to be nice and go to the right of them. Excuse yourself and stay in the channel. They will understand . . . and if they don't, well, they are clueless to the lake. There's a tree stump on its side off the bank that marks the top of the Narrows. From there, go to the right slightly and get away from the bluff bank a bit. Don't ride too close to this bank because there are big trees and rocks that will get you. Stay middle left of center all the way to Lookout Island. You can boat more than halfway up past the island at Lookout but that's about all. The lake is super shallow all the way across -- there is no channel here. I have seen boats raise their motors up and creep past this shallow area to the Trophy Run Hole, but I wouldn't advise it. But if you do get up there, the next chute past the club house will be too narrow and too shallow to get through. 703.0 feet -- 010 m.w. -- < 1,000 c.f.s. These produce the same conditions as if the water was not running. Not much difference in levels, just a little more current at the narrow areas. 704.0 feet -- 035 m.w. -- 2,500 c.f.s. At the Narrows, you still should stay in the channel. The current will be a lot faster, and it will look safe, but there's not enough water to go over the bar. I have seen some people make it, but I sure wouldn't chance a prop by cutting through to save time. At Lookout Island, if you keep your boat up on plane, you can run up by the island, staying right of center. You should be able to see the shallow flat riffling off the top of the island -- stay clear of that shallow water. There's also a couple of big logs on the right, too, but their tops should be exposed, up out of the water. At this level, you can run up through the chute above Trophy Run. Head right straight up the "V." marking the center of the channel along the right bank. Again, don't get too close to the bank because there are a few logs and bigger rocks. Better to stay on the left side and tip the gravel if you're going to err. At the ramp, you should be right of center. Stay there until you're at the Rocking Chair access on the left bank (road/path coming down out of the trees). At that point, you need to edge to the left and head towards the stump sticking up below the island. Some people will stop at this point, but I would miss the stump on the right and cut it hard right toward the wooden steps on the right bank. That's about where the channel is at Rebar. When you've traveled to about mid-lake, turn up towards the dam and stay mid center all the way to the cable. You should be clear of the boulders on each side. 705.0 feet -- 055 m.w. -- 4,000 c.f.s. -- 1 turbine (unit) 705.5 feet -- 075 m.w. -- 5,000 c.f.s. At this flow, you should be able to run over the shallow flat at the Narrows. And you should be able to run the middle of the lake all the way to the cable below the dam. But I would stay on plane over all the areas I've mentioned that are shallow. 706.0 feet -- 085 m.w. -- 6,250 c.f.s. No worries at this point. Unless you're running too close to any bank, you should be fine boating anywhere in the trophy area. *If there is no water running, don't assume the lake level is at "power pool" or 702 feet. There are times, although not often, that Empire Electric draws more water out of the lake than it should. Empire owns and operates Powersite Dam, the dam at the lower end of Taneycomo. If too much water is let out there, our lake level does drop to levels above Short Creek that could get you in trouble.
  18. 4 points
    I got out with an old buddy from high school and his son this morning while the snow was falling. It was chilly but not quite as cold as yesterday morning. We were the only ones on the water for quite some time and had the trophy area to ourselves except one fella at outlet two and another on the south side. Threw grey and white 1/8th ounce jigs with 3 units of water running and caught all the fish you could shake a stick at. I love fishing Taney in the snow. Peaceful, quiet and the fish were biting. Most rainbows were in the 14-15 inch range with a few bigger and a good showing of silver bullets. It’s always an adventure and a day filled with laughs from crazy stories from the past when fishing with my buddy Jack and his boys.
  19. 3 points

    Topwater has begun

    These are from a couple of days ago. They are starting to do their top water thing. I won't divulge exact spots, but just cruise until you see 8 boats with 5-6 people each in overalls. They have been following my boat since they crowded me at the weir. You might as well just butt in as they have no problem doing it to me or anyone else. As soon as anyone catches a hybrid, they will move to within 20 ft of you and cast lures within 3 ft of your boat. I don't think they are trying to be rude, I think it is just not considered rude in their culture? Better find them quick. The last 2 spots they did this to me at were fished out within a week, only leaving tons of whites in those areas. Pretty sure they show up 8 boats strong almost every evening because everytime I get to go back and fish, they either all show up or already on my waypoints when I get there, lol. I don't let it bother me too much anymore. Just challenges me to find them in another area of the lake and try to hide as long as I can, lol. Anyways, they are definitely biting great right now. Smallest fish in the pic is 7.2 lbs. Biggest was 13.4 lbs. That is a 152qt cooler. Good luck!
  20. 3 points
    Updated 2/12/20 ~~ Lake Taneycomo is a tailwater fishery. When Table Rock Dam is not generating, the water below the dam is stable and easy to read. I will, in this article, describe each area and how to fish for trout with a fly rod. I going to assume you are wading. The water below the dam isn’t very deep. In most areas, the water won’t be over your waders. There aren’t any holes or drop offs except directly around the boulders placed by the Missouri Department of Conservation for fish habitat. The deepest water is up close to the cable, marking the boundary line in which not to fish above. The water up close to the cable is deeper and wading is difficult. Most of the bottom of the lake is gravel but there is larger chunk rock as well as bed rock. There’s steady, slow current from the cable down to the Rebar Hole. Moving down close to the top of Rebar, the water does pick up speed. Rebar is where the water switches sides, moving from the north side to the south side, mostly through one fast chute, although there is other shallow areas of water moving through. This actually changes slightly through the years from heavy water flows from generation and flood gates. The lake opens up below Rebar to a big pool we call Big Hole. What used to be a deep hole has filled in with gravel over the years but is still 3-4 feet deep. The water, again, moves slowly down to the Rocking Chair area. The Rocking Chair is marked by an access from the south side of the lake, where a person could walk down from a parking area to the lake and sit a rocking chair on the level bank there. Here you’ll find more chunk and bed rock bottom. Just before you get to the MDC boat ramp access (north side of the lake), the lake gets deeper and narrower, hugging the north bank. Some of the bottom is gravel as well as clay with a big gravel bar on the south side. At the bottom of this stretch, the lake again changes sides creating a long chute with a gravel bottom. This chute is much longer and wider than Rebar, emptying into a stretch called Trophy Run. Trophy Run is a development on the south side of the lake marked by a community building. The lake is very deep here, more than 8 feet in spots, and is not really wadeable. At the bottom of this run is Lookout Island. At Lookout, and lake becomes very shallow again but wide. There’s some current here but I wouldn’t call it a chute at all. At the island, the water starts to deepen, dumping into Lookout Hole. The bottom is all gravel through the shallow areas but turns into bed rock below the island. Flies Emergers: Soft Hackles, Cracklebacks, RS2, WD40, Parachute Midge — any fly they settles just below the surface. Soft hackle color and styles: Bodies can be thread with wire wrap, red, black, green, yellow, orange. Wire wrap only with copper, gold or silver. Flash or another type of mylar material, pearl, pearl red or pearl green. Sizes range from #14 to #20. I usually stay with #16’s and #18’s. Cracklebacks are tied with furnace hackle with various colors bodies. Peacock herl is the preferred material in natural green, yellow, orange and red. Size is usually a #14. RS2, Parachute Midge & WD40 – olive, cream and natural brown. Size #18 - #22. Dries: Blue Olive Dun, black ant, beetle, Adams, Humpy, Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wolfe, hoppers, Griffin’s Gnat, Stimulator and cidada. Sizes #8’s and #22’s. Mice are fished mainly at night, skipped across the surface below the dam and down through most of the Trophy Area. Wet Flies: Scuds, Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail, Squirrel Tail, sow bugs, various emerger patterns, San Juan Worm, Mega Worm, Miracle Fly, egg patterns and small bead head nymphs. Sizes vary from #14’s to #22’s. Scuds, or freshwater shrimp, are tied with many types of dubbing material — rabbit, squirrel, mink, possum, kangaroo, dog or cat, synthetics like rayon, and combinations of all of the above. They’re tied on either a TMC #2487, #2457, #3769, #3761 or a #200R hook, depending on your preference. They can be weighted or not. Some are tied with a shell back. Scuds in the natural can be varied shades of gray, olive, tan or brown. When they die they turn orange. They can be fished in sizes ranging from #12 to #24 but the average size is #14 to #20. Streamers: Woolies, Wooly Buggers, Sculpins, Pine Squirrel, PMS, Hibernator, Mo Hair Leach. Woolies and Buggers run from #10’s to #16’s in white, olive, purple, black, brown and pink. Sculpins usually are fished in size #8 or #10. Good colors are gray, ginger, olive, orange, brown or white. Pine Squirrel, PMS, Hibernators and Leeches are fished in the same sizes, adding black, blood red, purple and white to the color selection. Big Ugly Streamers: For the big ones, throw anything you want but Taneycomo isn’t known as a big streamer fishery, unlike its kin, the White River. They’re thrown at night if the water is off or during the day but the water should be running for best results. Fly Fishing Tactics Outlet #1 is a small stream that flows out a pipe, down a chute, then across a gravel bar in to the lake. The stream is very small and really doesn’t hold fish itself. There’s a dropoff at the end where it meets the lake. Trout will hold on this drop and will take a variety of flies, mostly nymphs and worms under an indicator. The lake from the cable down about 150 yards is wide with some current. This water is good for stripping flies and dead drifting nymphs and midges. This is one of the best places to strip sculpins along the bottom although the bottom is rocky and tends to catch heavy flies. But that’s the reason sculpin flies are good – there’s sculpins that live in the rocks. As the lake narrows and gets a little shallower, the current picks up. The trout can be more active in this area, picking up midge larva as well as scuds and sow bugs because the bottom is mostly gravel. Fish are apt to take surface and/or film flies like small dries, midges, soft hackles and cracklebacks. Outlet #2 enters the lake as a waterfall and doesn’t run very far before hitting the lake. Trout are attracted to this outlet more than any other because of the volume of water and the frequent run of trout food escaping from the hatchery raceways. Fish take many kinds of flies here, mainly dead drifting. The number one fly is a scud with egg flies and San Juan worms close behind. Because the water is faster here, you can get away with using a little heavier tippet. When the trout are fed in the hatchery, pellets escape and are washed in to the lake at the outlets. You may try a pellet fly, a small brown, round dry fly. The pool below outlet #2 is good for stripping small and medium size streamers, film flies and dead drifting midges. Also strip sculpins along the bottom here. Where the lake picks up speed again close to the Rebar Chute, you’re back to drifting scuds, midges, eggs and worms. In the chute, use all of the above but add more weight so that the fly gets to the bottom quickly. Most anglers use a strike indicator or float when dead drifting but some do not. Either is fine. Do what is most comfortable. The short stretch below the chute has changed over the years. It’s not as deep as it used to be but it’s still a very area for fishing a small dry or small midges. Swinging and stripping flies in the Big Hole, especially when there’s a chop on the water or at night, can be excellent fishing. Also dead drifting midges under an indicator. This big area is where you can start fishing a jig under a float–micro and small marabou jigs under a float in various earth colors, black, brown and sculpin being the best. At Rocking Chair, drift scuds, sow bugs, worms and egg flies in the slow current. Strip film flies if there’s a chop on the water. Throw small dries if the trout are rising to midges. Back too a jig and float at the boat ramp since the water is much deeper. Also beaded flies under a float at various depths. Using sink tip line, throw sculpins in this deeper water because there’s a very good population of sculpins here. The big chute is a great place to dead drift all kinds of flies close to the bottom and for stripping and swinging streamers and film flies. Work the end of the chute, where it opens out and slows, with those streamers and film flies. You’re jig and float will work very well through the long, deep water at Trophy Run. Pay attention to the depth of the jig because the water here can be as deep as 10 feet. Find where the trout are — start at 4 feet deep and work down. When the water starts to shallow up, go back to dead drifting nymphs and midges. As the current picks up, swing and strip film flies. Then, after the water gets deeper, fish all of the above — jigs, scuds, midges, eggs and worms. Also strip sculpins in this area. Notes and Techniques When using a fly or jig under an indicator in deeper water like from the cable down below outlet #1, Big Hole, MDC boat ramp or Trophy Run, a double fly rig is useful, pairing a heavier fly with a small fly. Use the heavier fly (jig may be) being on top and the smaller fly (zebra midge, scud or even soft hackle) on the bottom. We use this rig down lake in deeper water with a fly or spinning rod. Tippet recommendation: 6x – 7x. Use a dry fly as an indicator. There are times our trout will readily take a dry even though there’s no hatches occurring. Use a big enough dry to float your nymphs or midges. Keep your leader greased well so that your line doesn’t drag your dry under the water. Any of the dry flies I mentioned are good to use. Tippet recommendation: 6x – 7x. In areas where there’s fairly good current, and you’re dead drifting a nymph under an indicator, add a soft hackle below the nymph. At the end of the drift, let the flies swing up. This is good action for the soft hackle and chances are you’ll get bit at the very end of the drift. Tippet recommendation: 6x – 7x. Sight Fishing – Even with the water off, no generation, water level on tailwaters is constantly changing, most times by only inches. Fish are keenly aware of this and will work the edges of the water for bugs moving in and out with the water. When bugs (scuds, sow bugs) are on the move they are easy to pick off. Therefore, the edges of the shore is the best place to sight fish. When targeting these fish, use something they’re looking for — scuds, sow bugs, midges and worms. Don’t back down from using large imitations, especially where there’s schools of trout working a bank. Competition spawns aggressiveness and aggressiveness promotes eating flies that don’t look anything like natural food. Tippet recommendation: 5x – 6x. Case in point: The White Mega Worm. This big, fluffy yarn worm, sometimes tied on a very small jig head, is more than an attractor fly. Big trout are known to attack this fly in very shallow water. It also works in deeper water. If the fly disappears, it’s probably in a fish’s mouth — set the hook! I suggest using 4 or even 3x tippet. You’ll find yourself getting excited seeing the fish take the fly and setting the hook too hard can be a problem. Plus using a big fly like this, you can get away with heavier tippet. Midge flies are a fly fisherman’s staple on most tailwaters. Taneycomo is no different. We have midge hatches every day, sometimes all day and even at night. Without going into details like a midge’s life cycle, I just want to convey what midges to use in certain conditions. I’ve caught more trout using a simple rig where I use a zebra midge under a palsa float than any other technique. Depth is important. If trout are actively taking flies off the surface or in the film, set the indicator only 6 to 12-inches from the first fly. If there’s little or no activity, set it deeper and keep adjusting until you start getting bit. Tippet recommendation: 6x – 7x. Soft hackles and Cracklebacks are what I call film flies. Both can be skimmed across the surface or just under the surface in the film. Use long leaders and make long casts. There are many ways to retrieve this fly from short, fast to long, slow strips. If there’s current, letting the fly just drift and swing will draw a strike. Tippet recommendation: 5x – 6x. Streamers are worked in and same way except the fly is further under the surface. Sculpins are fished with heavy tippet. Most sculpin flies are weighted enough you shouldn’t need to use sink tip leaders. This fly is worked across the bottom so you should use it in gravel areas mainly. Sculpin move quickly from spot to spot, coming to a complete stop when they’re not moving. Your retrieve should mimic this action. Tippet recommendation: 2x – 3x. Tips Keep in mind trout in shallow water spook easily so stay on dry ground when ever possible. Rainbows will cruise the edges of the shore in very shallow water looking for scuds which travel along the banks. Don’t just arbitrarily wade out to the middle of the lake — you’ll miss some of your best fishing opportunities. Try to land your fly line as gently on the water as possible when casting. It is true our rainbows are used to anglers casting and wading in the upper lake but you’re chances improve greatly the more stealth you are in your presence. Proper mending of line is a must when dead drifting, swinging and even stripping flies. Pay attention closely and make adjustments where needed. Change. I suggest never casting and retrieving the same way more than a few times. Cover water like you’re painting a wall. Vary your strip patterns till you find what the fish like and then if they get off that pattern, change again. Same with flies. Change color and sizes will you find something that will work. Never assume they’re not feeding — they’re just not interested in what you’re throwing and/or how you’re offering it. Your indicator should be as small as possible to float and/or pull the fly through the water you’re fishing. If you’re dragging a fly across the bottom, like a scud, your indicator needs to big a little bigger so that the fly, when it catches the bottom, doesn’t stop, pulling the indicator under. This especially works in #2 outlet and the Rebar Chute. Dead drifting: Always set the hook downstream, into the fish’s mouth. Keep the rod tip low when possible and use the water to add tension to the line set. It will be a quicker hookset as well as keep your lone/fly from ending up in the trees behind you. Film flies: Soft hackles and cracklebacks. On the take, trout will almost always hook themselves. Setting the hook will break your line more times than naught. Read Water Conditions and Adapt Fish will almost always feed better under a choppy surface verses a calm, slight surface. Current does make up for no wind but still, a slight breeze does wonders for the bite. Couple of things to consider when reading the water. Darker skies and broken water — fly size can be bigger and so can your tippet size. Bright sunshine and slick surface conditions mean the fish won’t be as active and can see everything more clearer. Drop in tippet size and go to smaller flies.
  21. 3 points
    In 1919, Norman Rockwell painted two covers for successive issues of a magazine called The Country Gentleman. The images are now in the public domain. The Fishing Trip The Catch Even Norman Rockwell knew worms catch the fish. Why many people avoid using worms and insist on artificial baits would make an excellent topic for a psycho-social doctoral thesis. I won’t be writing that. Instead, this article is intended as a primer for fishing worm harnesses in Tablerock and the other White River impoundments. What I will share comes from fellow walleye fishermen who have showed me a number of tricks. In particular, I want to thank Chuck Etheredge of Holiday Island, Arkansas. Chuck holds the Holiday Island Marina walleye record at 14.5 pounds, and he is the one who taught me about his harnesses for brush fishing crawlers. The Bait Nightcrawlers are one of nature’s perfect animals. They aerate the soil, they help break down leaves and other dead matter to soil, and they are so valuable to growing plants that people buy them to put in their gardens. Brown trout guides below Bull Shoals dam say they use red worms because they are “more natural looking in the water.” The real reason is stocker rainbows that can’t and won’t leave the nightcrawlers alone. In the last several years nightcrawlers have become a major farmed and/or harvested crop. Grocery stores, convenience stores, and even Walmarts sell them. Typically, the containers are Styrofoam or cardboard and are filled with potting soil or mulch. I buy at several locations and find the overall quality quite good. However, I always check the contents before I leave the store. Temperature or stock rotation disasters do happen. Next important tip: As soon as you get home, place the worm boxes in the refrigerator and keep them there until the fishing trip. Crawlers will last several weeks if left alone in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator. If you are not the cook, label the boxes “worms” to avoid screams and other domestic difficulties. On the day I intend to use the crawlers, I pack the boxes in an ice chest with ice. The ice will not freeze them in their containers and will keep them cool and lively. Once I am in the boat and ready to fish, I put some ice and lake water in a flat bottom plastic bowl and add four or five crawlers. The ice water plumps them up and washes the dirt off so your boat floor stays cleaner. In addition, you will be in and out of your cooler less often. When the ice melts, merely add another piece or two. An alternative I recently learned was to bathe a day’s worth of crawlers at once, then place them in the now empty Styrofoam containers with ice. In the event you wish to buy crawlers in bulk, they are available from several mail order sources, including Cabelas. Several chapters of the classic book, Lunkers Love Nightcrawlers, cover the long term care and feeding of nightcrawlers. The Worm Harness A worm harness is nothing more than one or more hooks combined with one or more devices to attract fish. The early Crème worm was a rubber worm on a primitive worm harness. I caught my first lunker bass on this rig. Literally hundreds of commercial harness makers exist and a Ebay search for worm harness or crawler harness will prove it. Cabelas and Bass Pro each carry more than one brand and several varieties for each brand. The sheer number intimidates anglers seeking to try a new method. How can you know which ones work best? For those wanting instant gratification, the “norm” consists of two small hooks, size 2, 4, or 6, snelled on 10 to 20 pound test line. Above the hooks, you will find 3 to 8 beads, and in front of that a size 3 Colorado or Indiana blade. The entire harness will run on a single three to four foot strand of line with a swivel or loop at the end opposite the hooks. Harness Blades Variations abound including those with single hooks; Smile, Dakota, or Willow blades; and even what appears to be a wedding band in the build. To help understand the reason for blade choices I’ve built a chart: Colors A variety of harness colors will work. I suppose you could catch a walleye on anything if you fished long enough with a crawler attached. However, the purpose of the harness is to attract the walleye to find the worm. Certain colors and styles tend to work more consistently. As a side note, the common forage of walleyes in our chain of lakes explains the color choices. Walleye in the White River chain primarily feed on shad and bluegill. As yellow perch, common walleye forage in the North, become more prolific in Bull Shoals, the color choices for that lake may change somewhat. Bodies with chartreuse, red, green, orange, pink, and white are the most commonly used. I own a box of plastic beads I bought from Cabelas for tying traditional harnesses. It contains no less than 24 different shades that are variations on all of the above except white. Traditional harnesses frequently use more than one of these colors. Common blade colors include silver, copper, and air brushed or painted blades using the color palate listed above. While I have had some success with half silver/half gold blades, harnesses with solid gold blades have never proven successful for me. Again, the yellow perch in Bull Shoals may change that. Copper Colorado Blade/Pink Float Beads Silver/Yellow/Red Colorado Blade/Chartreuse Float Beads Silver Willow Blade/Firetiger Float Beads Painted Colorado Blade/White Float Beads (Wonderbread) How and Where In a previous article, Trolling for Table Rock Walleye, I wrote extensively about where and how to locate walleye. I urge you to read or re-read that article for location information. Depth and speed are the other variables that combine with location to determine whether you have success. Fishermen successfully use harnesses for fish holding as shallow as 6 or 8 feet. The harnesses are equally successful on the Great Lakes at 45 feet behind downriggers. For the White River lakes I do not advise downriggers. Instead, those who target walleyes use three way rigs or bottom bouncers. A three way rig utilizes a three way swivel. The main line attaches to one ring, 12 to 24 inches of line with a bell sinker at the end attaches to the second ring. The third ring holds the harness line. Those who use this rig do so because they can quickly change the amount of weight or adjust the height off bottom. I suggest any who use this rig make sure that the strongest of the three lines is the main line to the reel. The second strongest should be the line to the harness. The weight line should be weaker than either of the others. The alternative to a three way rig is a bottom bouncer. The main line attaches at the junction of the “L.” The harness line attaches to the swivel at the end of the unweighted arm. As the boat moves forward the weighted arm tip brushes the bottom while the harness follows behind the weight and somewhat above it. Bottom bouncers come in a variety of weights, ranging from ½ ounce to 4 ounces. What size to use? Traditionalists will tell you to use 1 ounce for every 10 feet of depth you will be fishing. That advice is accurate and useful under normal circumstances, especially when combined with the traditional advice on speed and how much line should be out. If you search the internet for articles on using harnesses and bottom bouncers, almost all will tell you the ideal configuration will have the main line running from the boat to the bouncer at a 45 degrees or less. Those articles also suggest the bouncer should only “bounce” from time to time. These articles are absolutely correct, and professional walleye fishermen use these “rules of thumb” every tournament. The last element of traditional harness fishing is the speed. Most days a speed of .8 mph to 1.4 mph will be the most effective. Be aware the type of blade can change the effective speed. A Willow spins far more easily than a Colorado. A Smile blade can spin with even less speed. You should go at least fast enough to spin the blade. However, the ultimate decision maker on speed will be the fish. Sluggish fish may want a slow presentation. If so the weight will be less and the blade choice would be a Smile or Willow. On other days, hot water fish may need a fast speed to trigger bites. In that case a heavier weight and more line may be needed to reach the depth desired. Chuck’s Secret Method Careful readers may have noticed the pictures of my harnesses above are different from what they see in stores or some of the sketches I have drawn and inserted. The differences are only a part of the “secret” method Chuck Etheredge taught me two years ago. His method is an adaptation of the traditional ways; one that is designed for the highland reservoirs with submerged timber, brush, stumps, car size rocks, and house foundations. Chuck wanted a harness that was less likely to sink when the bottom bouncer stalled because it hit a rock or limb. To that end he substituted floats for the glass or plastic beads. If you put one of his rigs in the water and lay the bouncer on the bottom, the blade slides down to the weight, but the floats, hook, and worm stay up. He also experimented to see if he could avoid exposed hooks. He took from the bass fishermen the idea of Texas rigging the worm. Yes, it is a soft, real nightcrawler, but the embedded hook had to help a little. In addition, one hook point instead of two equaled half as many hang points. He found a worm hook in size 1 or 1/0 was every bit as good as the traditional two small hooks in sticking fish. Last, to keep the float beads and blade from pushing the worm down into a wad, he made another innovation. He uses a bobber stop to hold the beads in place. In addition to changing the harness, Chuck defies conventional wisdom as to bottom bouncer weight. He intentionally uses about half the weight considered standard. At 20 feet he will use one ounce. At thirty feet he will have on a 1.5 or 2 ounce bouncer. To reach the bottom, this means he must have out considerably more line. The change in angle between the boat and the bait is exactly the reason for his unorthodoxy. He believes the “flatter” angle aids in pulling the rig up and over limbs and logs. The combination of differences works for Chuck. On more than occasion I have watched him fish snag filled flats and timbered channel edges with his worm harnesses. Yes he will sometimes hang up, but far less often than anyone would expect. And while he is at it, he catches fish. The first time he showed me his ways, he tried to explain his uncanny success at staying free from hangs. In my words, he does it like this. When he feels the line begin to rub over a limb, he does not jerk. He waits until the line between the limb and harness shortens. As this happens, braid line will sing or vibrate. Quite often the rod tip will feel heavier. Just when he feels the bouncer arm contact the limb, he lifts the rod in a high arc to pop the rig and harness over the limb. He then lets the bouncer fall back to the bottom. Many bites happen on that drop. Please note that Chuck’s method requires the angler to hold the rod and feel for the key moment. This is different from those who put the harness rod in a holder. Results Every article about a fishing method should include a few pictures to vouch for the method and the author. A Table Rock Limit from 2010 when Chuck showed me his secrets Three from June of 2011 My personal best, 13.75 pounds, July 8, 2011, on one of Chuck’s style harnesses.
  22. 3 points
    One big rain and we're back to big generation here on Lake Taneycomo. Beaver Lake jumped 4 feet to 1125 feet while Table Rock rose to 919.9 feet. Both lakes were almost down to their seasonal power pool. Right now, they are releasing a little bit of water from Beaver and releasing water at Table Rock to the tune of 15,000 cubic feet per second. That's a little more than if they were running 4 full units but they are only running 3 turbines along with 5 flood gates opened 1-foot each. At Beaver, my app says there's one gate open one foot at 970 c.f.s.. We are going to see this flow from Table Rock all this week and probably into the weekend with more continuing at 3 units when they get Table Rock down a little. If they do the same thing as previously, we're going to see 3-unit-water for several weeks. Fishing was tough over the weekend because the upper lake was still feeling the affects of Friday night's rain. The lake Saturday was pretty dirty, and when the cloudiness cleared up, anglers had to still deal with leaves and sticks flowing in from feeder creeks. By Monday, the lake was free of stuff and very fishable. There's only really one thing you must do to catch a trout now and that is to be on the bottom. That's where the fish are holding up. That and in eddies along the bank. And they are biting and can be caught. Guide Steve Dickey put 2 of his clients on big trout already. Randy from St. Louis landed this 28” 10.5lb. drifting a Bomber on the bottom in the trophy area. Steve from St. Louis Caught this beautiful 26 inch brown on a #14 gray scud using 6x tippet. Yeah! Both browns! All of a sudden they're showing up which is cool. So whether you're fishing a gray scud, cerise San Juan worm, a stick bait, a Bomber, night crawler, minnow or PowerBait, get it on the bottom and drift away.
  23. 3 points
    Shane Bush, Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist for Table Rock and Taneycomo, sent me this PDF file of a presentation given last week by Gabe Knight. Gabe works for the Little Rock Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It has some good straight forward information on how and why releases are made, encompassing all of the White River Water Basin. Water Management Overview Knight_2019.pdf
  24. 3 points
    Phil Lilley

    October 14 fishing report

    We've had big changes here on Lake Taneycomo the last few days. We've gone from a constant flow of about 2,000 cubic feet per second since Sept. 1st to 11,000 c.f.s. with a couple of flood gates open, all from one "little" rain we had Thursday night. It was one of those "toad soaker" rains, a slow moving system that sat on us for about six hours and dumped up to eight inches of rain in some areas to the east of Branson. Our rain gauge tops at five inches, and it was plum full Friday morning when I checked it. Most of the big rain fell east of the Table Rock watershed, but it did rain a solid two to four inches over all of Southwest Missouri, which brought Table Rock's level up to 917.45 feet. Now this is where it gets a little complicated, but I'll try to explain. When Table Rock rises past certain levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to release water at predetermined amounts. At 917 feet, they need to release about 11,000 c.f.s. of water until lake levels drop back below that level. That equates to about four full units of water, but due to seasonal restrictions of release, not all of that can be released through the turbines. If officials did, they would have to inject massive amounts of liquid oxygen to the release so that the oxygen levels would meet safe federal Clean Water Act levels (four parts per million). So the Corps opened three spill gates one foot each at about 5,500 c.f.s., combining it with four turbines at half capacity to equal the release needed to curb rising lake levels. So we have water being released at roughly 40 feet and 130-feet deep from Table Rock Lake. I took readings Monday and found the following temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels: Spill side, dam - 8.8 ppm. 67.5 degrees Turbine, dam side 4.0 ppm. 57.5 degrees Lookout, middle 5.7 ppm. 59.7 degrees Fall Creek, middle. 6.7 ppm. 62.4 degrees Lilleys' Landing, middle 6.8 ppm. 61.5 degrees So we're getting a good mix of dissolved oxygen with the gates opened, and the water temperature on the spill gates side isn't as high as we thought it might be. That was the concern. Our trout don't do well in warm water, especially brown trout. With this mix of cool and warm water, our trout should thrive pretty well. Thankfully, Table Rock's water temperatures have been dropping steadily with the cooler weather moving in. The other day when air temps dropped and the winds picked up, Table Rock's level really dropped out fast. Note: It usually takes me two or three sittings to write my reports, sometimes over a couple of days. When I talk about things like lake levels, those change between the time I start the report and finish it. So it is in this case. By the time this is published, Table Rock's level will reach 917 feet, and our flow will drop dramatically, changing a lot of what's in this report. My fishing report now is going to be very hard to write . . . simply because lake conditions will change shortly and so will how we go about catching fish. I guess I'll just write about how I THINK it's going to be and hope for the best. I'm going to assume that when operators shut the spill gates down, the Corps will keep the turbine release about the same, so there will be plenty of flowing water coming from Table Rock. They may go back to the 35-50 megawatts of generation they were running prior to the heavy rains that prompted this big release, but I don't expect that since Table Rock will still be a couple of feet over normal and rain is in the forecast. Regardless, we're going to see running water for quite some time. When they run gates and send warmer water through the system, our scud population explodes. So drifting with scuds (flies that mimic freshwater shrimp or scuds) should be one of the best things to drift on the bottom. They actually have been good, both when drifted on the bottom without a float and with a float, but these conditions should make them even more desirable. Some of the guides have been using larger scuds -- up to an #8 -- but with the water slowing down, I'd go back to #12's to as small as #16's. White jigs have been working below the dam as well as drifting crank baits on the bottom, as long as there enough current to do that. If the water release drops too low, the cranks won't work. We use the Bomber Fat Free Shad Fingerling in shad flavors. You need to throw it out toward the dam and crank it down until you feel it ticking on the bottom, then let it ride. With white jigs, let them drift, too, working them as little as possible. Threadfin shad have been coming over the spill gates (although we haven't seen any) and drifting down lake, eaten up pretty quickly by trout and other fish. You should probably use 1/8th-ounce jigs until dam operators drop the flow, then go to smaller jigs. Other jig colors have been working, too, such as black, brown, sculpin, sculpin peach. Don't forget that when drifting flies on the bottom in the trophy area and even farther down past Fall Creek, try red San Juan worms and egg flies. Use one of these with a scud in a tandem rig. With this much flow, four-pound line is perfectly fine. I've seen more and more top water action. If you're a dry fly lover, start throwing those hoppers, stimulators, ants, beetles and elk hair caddis flies along the banks and see what happens. I've also witnessed a lot of people catching rainbows drifting below Fall Creek with night crawlers and power eggs. Use a quarter-ounce weight t with this much flow but drop to an 1/8th-ounce when the water is kicked back. A lot of boaters have been anchoring in current lately, some right in the middle of the lake. First, I can't imagine catching anything and, second, this can be very dangerous. Those whom I've seen are anchoring off the front and are in deep V boats, so they can handle the current, but if you anchor in the wrong way in the wrong kind of boat, the current can and will pull the boat under in a second. I would never suggest anyone try this, regardless of whether they are operating in a safe manner. You'd be much better off anchoring over on the side in an eddie or slower current where you'd find more fish primed to take your bait. Also, anglers are asking for trouble when anchoring in the middle of the lake since most boaters are drifting. It's dangerous to assume that all boaters can handle their boats in current and won't drift into another boat in their path. All images above are from Duane Doty's Facebook Page, Ozark Trout Runners. They are pictures he's taken out on guide trips the past two weeks. And all of the fish -- walleye, bass and trout -- were caught on his signature series, custom painted jerk baits. This is Blake Wilson, one of our dock workers. He's been throwing Duane's jerk bait almost every evening, and he finally scored a trophy brown. It was 27 inches long and weighed more than nine pounds. He released it after reviving it in our holding tank. We always have a big holding tank with lake water running through it for big fish that are brought in to the dock. Because of the seasonal low D.O. conditions, we added an oxygen tank and a diffuser stone to add more O2 to the water in the tank. Now that we (Lilley's Landing) have become known for this service, we do get a lot of big trout brought in for weighing and pictures. But please consider this: If you catch a big fish miles from our dock, you may put the fish in peril if you bring it in instead of just releasing it immediately. Consider the size of your live well, whether it is big enough for your fish? If you're running a long distance, you won't be adding fresh water to the live well on your run, with the lake water already low in O2. I would ask you to consider pulling over to the bank (where it is safe to anchor) and take your time, letting the fish rest in the live well or even in the net in the lake. Wait 10 or 15 minutes and let the fish recover before getting pictures. I caught a very nice rainbow once and pulled over to the side, got out of the boat with the fish in the net so I could just lift it out of the water for a few seconds for pictures, then after I made sure it was strong enough, released it. Yes, I got my feet wet but it was well worth it.
  25. 3 points

    6/21-22 report

    Well it was the first time fishing taneycomo for my son and he was excited to get after some trout. We headed down Friday and put in at Cooper Creek about 4 that afternoon. First thing we did was boat up to the dam and drifted back. We fished jigs but it was tough for us. We had a few strikes, picked up a lot of moss but just weren't getting any to the boat. We stopped in at Lilly's and picked up more supplies, talked with duckydoty and got some tips. We ended the day boating just a couple rainbows. Saturday we were on the water by about 830 and by then there was maybe 1 unit running. again we run upstream and floated down from fall creek. we did this most of the day and had much better results. My wife landed the first (her first brown trout in MO) and last fish with several in between. My son and I tag teamed a few as well. It was a great day on the water with several nice fish caught and some that didn't quite make it to the boat. A big THANK YOU to @duckydoty for sharing some of his SS hand painted cranks and help putting us on fish. and while my son wasn't successful hooking up with a brownie (certainly it wasn't for lack of trying) he did have plenty of luck with the bows.
  26. 3 points
    Phil Lilley

    June 4 Fishing Report

    Here on Lake Taneycomo, we're finally seeing some slower generation after months of high water. But we're an oasis in the middle of flooding, all around us. There are so many people affected by flooding, our hearts go out to them. We could easily be in the same position if weather patterns shift. We've had rain this past week but our watershed hasn't been blanketed with inches, only isolated storms delivering a half-inch at a time which soaks into the ground with little runoff. So our lakes are not jumping up and generation has slowed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been running up to 3 units, starting early in the morning and shutting down after dark but this isn't the case every day. Today, they are not running water until 2 p.m. which gives those who like to fish from the bank, or dock or wade a chance to enjoy some quiet water. Hard to say what will happen in the coming days... we are forecasted to get quite a bit of rain this weekend but we will wait and see what falls and where. Duane had a guide trip this morning, early, and Steve did great throwing a stick bait. He landed 4 rainbows over 20 inches, all in the lower trophy area. Speaking of scuds, a beaded scud under an indicator works well, using 6x or 2-pound line from Short Creek up. So will a zebra midge. I really don't have specific colors and sizes because I haven't been out to try it yet. Same size tippet on the Zebras. Air injected night crawlers almost always catches fish anywhere on the upper lake but especially in the Short Creek area. The pink Powerworm caught this 15-pound brown in the Short Creek area last week. We like to think a brown is smarter than that, growing from a 12-inch stocker to a 30-inch brute without being caught. Taking a pink Powerworm shouldn't have been on this guy's menu. See all the trophies caught and released on our Trophy Page. Black/Olive marabou jigs have been doing pretty good so far this week, even out fishing the sculpin/peach jig. White is still the color on the first half-mile of the lake, then switch to the darker colors.
  27. 3 points
    Got to the launch early, foggier than heck when I got there. Didn't have much choice but to idle over to a nearby point and start fishing, started out swimming a Keitech with the idea of catching smallmouth, but wasn't out to long before I started seeing a blow up to out in the deep water. There wasn't a lot of top water striper activity, but it got to be enough that I couldn't take it any longer and had to give them a shot. Had one blow up about 100 yards away, stood on the TM, got within casting distance, tossed the walking bait at the spot where the blow up occurred, gave it a twitch and man I tell you a stinking HUGE striper blew up on it, but missed, started walking the dog and it was like a pack of hungry piranhas were after that thing, had three quick explosions and misses and BOOM finally got one to grab it. Went through the usual tug of war and boated one that was in the 13-15. lb range. Wrecked the front treble on my lure, so tied on another one, and when I tied it on I noticed my hands were shaking. Many years of fishing but I guess I can still get excited at times. Anyway, caught another one that was in the low teen range and a couple of 3 pounders to boot, all on the top water. Also caught an 18" smallie that was near to the bank. That dude grabbed about 4 feet of air a couple of times which was pretty neat to see. For burned off, stripers went to parts unknown so I did some bass fishing, caught 10 bass, mostly smallies with a couple of spotted bass. 3 of the smallies were keeper sized. Had the best bite on the c-rig with a UV Speed craw as bait. Had quite a few bites, but they were just not eating it right - I think they have spawned, and are guarding nests or fry and are just messing with the baits. Surface WT 66, water has a bit of a stain to it.
  28. 3 points
    Fished Shell Knob to Big Creek last weekend, lake was in much better shape than anticipated. Had a lot of work to do around the house so was only able to get out a few hours each day and made the most of it. Seems to be many ways to catch them but the swim bait on gravel was the most consistent. Saturday - poked around with a wacky rigged senko and a spook, caught a few early but wasn't what i had expected. with the clear water i went and idled a few gravel banks/flats outside of spawning pockets and there they were. Caught them on a 1/4 oz head and 2.8 speed shad, color didnt seem to matter. boat in 30-40 casting toward the bank, a few locations were just flat on! Headed back out in the afternoon for a few hours and hit some more gravel with the same results. Lots of big fat smallies and keeper sized spots. Sunday - was stuck fishing the Campbell point area due to the fog and had some great blow ups on a spook in the flooded bushes early, only connected with a handful. Also picked up a few largemouth in the 17" range on a large swimbait shallow, saw several fresh beds and fish cruising shallow, eager to eat. Loaded up and went to do chores, came back and fished from 11-1 on the gravel with the small swimmer, a little slower but they were still there and left them biting as it was time to head back home. Hope this helps!
  29. 3 points
    Quick and concise... recent rains have brought our lakes up to levels which warrant some concern. Beaver Lake is now approaching 1125.5 feet, only 4.5 feet from its flood pool while Table Rock hovers at 920 feet, that magical level that calls for flood gates and flows at 20,000 c.f.s.. But Table Rock Dam is now running 3 turbines full while one turbine is down for maintenance so 5 spill gates are open 1 foot each to make up for the 4th turbine, equaling 15,000 c.f.s of flow. Four gates were open for about 24 hours yesterday when Table Rock's level reached 920.3 feet but dropped below 920 feet this morning. All the while, Bull Shoals is rising and is now at 672.7 feet, almost 10 feet higher than a week ago. Taney's water temperature is 54 degrees on the spill side, 44 degrees on the turbine side. When the extra gates were open we saw 60 degree water and a push of threadfin shad, just not as many as we'd like to see. I think we got a deposit of warm water fish too, white bass, walleye and small mouth bass. White jigs have not taken off like we would have hoped with the spill gates open but fishing is fairly good. Some are fishing a 1/32nd ounce white jig under a float 10-12 feet deep the first 3 miles of the lake while others are throwing 1/8th to 3/32nd ounce jigs straight, 4-pound line. I'm also using our sculpin/peach jigs and doing pretty good too. Spoons - silver Cleo or Boyaunt - are working well too. Work the eddies all the way down to Fall Creek using an 1/8th ounce earth color jigs like black, brown or sculpin. Below Fall Creek, drift minnows, night crawlers and Berkley Powerworm in pink, red or while on the bottom using drift rigs. The word is the trout are not in the creeks right now for some reason but if you're out and want to try, I would because they really should be in there. The water isn't going to be as fast down at the Landing so fishing down there will be easier. With this high water, watch where you're drifting and stay mid lake. Don't anchor in current and wear a life jacket if you're at all uncomfortable in swift water.
  30. 3 points
    It's been hard to sit down and write a fishing report because of the uncertainty of conditions lately. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened four spill gates last Monday and left those gates opened exactly one foot each for one week. I speculated that the opening of the gates would be temporary, only a couple of days, but that was not the case. So now that the gates are closed, and the work has been completed at the dam, I can evaluate future conditions . . . maybe. The release rate presently is 6,500 cubic feet per second (C.F.S.), Taneycomo's lake level is at 707.6 feet. Dam operators are running it around the clock, and Table Rock Lake's level is dropping about two inches per day, 915.42 feet. Power pool is 915 feet. Beaver Lake is shut down and holding at 1,120 feet. Their seasonal power pool is 1,120.43 feet. Our water temperature is 43 degrees. I would speculate we will see this flow for the next few days, until Table Rock's level drops to 915 feet... but you never know. Our trout did see a good number of threadfin shad flow into Taneycomo from Table Rock through the spill gates, and now they are looking for about anything that looks like a threadfin -- white jigs, white hard baits, white flies. Even spoons and spinners will work. These fish can be aggressive in their feeding, especially the bigger browns and rainbows that are used to eating bigger meals, like other trout and forage fish. So wake baits and larger jerk baits seem to be the ticket if you're fishing for trophies. With two units running, you can easily boat up to the dam, but just stay in the middle of the lake. We're using 3/32nd- to 1/16th-ounce white jigs, throwing them straight with no float and smaller 1/32nd-ounce jigs under a float four to seven-feet deep. Switch out the color if they're not taking white to sculpin, sculpin/ginger, black/olive or white/gray. Those who are throwing big jerk baits are throwing a Megabass 110+ in shad colors. If you don't want to spend the big bucks on a Megabass, throw a Rouge or Rapala. Suspending baits seemed to work better than floating or sinking. This is the time of year when we start to see a lot of green moss on the bottom of our lake, so drifting anything on the bottom is hampered by the green stuff. But that's not to say you can't catch trout by drifting a gray or olive scud, egg fly, San Juan Worm or a shad fly on the bottom. I'd recommend using very little weight and no weighted flies, if possible. Better yet, use a float and fish any of these flies under it four- to eight-feet deep. Below Fall Creek, night crawlers are doing about the best along with minnows. Minnows would be excellent because we know the threadfin shad have made it all the way down past Fall Creek, so those fish have seen and eaten a bunch of them. White jigs are also pretty hot, even past Lilleys' Landing and Cooper Creek. Our guides are back to using the pink and red Berkley's PowerWorm under a float eight- to 10-feet deep. The best area is from Monkey Island down past the Landing, according to Steve Dickey who had just brought in a happy group of clients. He said they're having to thin through smaller stocker rainbows to get the nice ones, but they are for sure there! Another group of guys staying here brought in some nice rainbows which they caught drifting down by the Landing on white/orange PowerEggs with a pinch of worm on the hook. You can't argue with success! I did overhear some talking yesterday that they tried trolling and were surprised they did very well. They were using a blue Rebel. Here are some pictures of trout caught over the weekend by anglers who fished in our CAM benefit tournament. These were all 20-inches-plus, the last one 24 inches caught on a white jig. David Beal and Seth Turner.
  31. 3 points
    Al Agnew

    A couple half days...

    Mary was going to be gone from Thursday to tonight, so I had a choice to make...do I watch the NCAA tournament and overdose on basketball, or go fishing? I didn't make any real plans, just decided to go if the urge struck me. A couple months ago, after I'd gotten up at 5 AM to go play basketball from 6 to 7, with boat trailer already hooked up on the truck so that I could leave for the river right after basketball, Mary was telling her sister Tina what I was doing, and Tina said, "you know, it must be nice to have two things you are that passionate about." So really, although there is not much that would override my passion for fishing, this was basketball...but...I don't love watching basketball quite as much as I love playing. So when I woke up Friday morning, knowing it was going to be a nice day and the trolling motor batteries were already charged, I headed for the Meramec. This is usually the toughest time of the year for me to figure out the bass on the Meramec. They are leaving their wintering pools and heading for spawning areas, but they are so much in transition that sometimes it's hard to find them...or at least find some that are willing to bite. I headed up the river to a certain wintering pool, and then went right on by it to the next riffle upstream, which has a big slow eddy right up against the fast water. Sometimes, that kind of current seam seems to gather the moving fish. Sure enough, using a deep diving crankbait, I hooked a nice smallmouth on about the third cast. A couple casts later, another one. I ended up catching a half dozen there. Okay, got that figured out. But I was curious whether there were any fish left in the wintering pool, especially toward the lower end where I'd found a pile of them earlier in the year. A half hour and two small bass later, I concluded they were gone. So, find more eddies at the bottoms of riffles? I drifted downriver, fishing smaller eddies along good banks with some current, catching a few more small fish...and then a 17 inch male on the crankbait in one of those little areas. So I kept fishing down one more similar bank. Then I hooked a fish that felt much bigger. It came to the surface, and I was excited. This looked like my first 20 incher of the year. I played it carefully and lipped it...well, maybe not quite 20 inches, but it was a heavy, thick female. I put it on the ruler on the front of the boat...18 3/4th inches! Wow, I couldn't believe I'd misjudged the length of that fish so much. Still, it was a great smallie. But then...I KNEW I needed to replace my trolling motor batteries. They had gotten to where they were only putting out half the power they had when good, but that had been enough the last trip I made before spending five weeks in Montana, and I'd kinda forgot about their deterioration. They had supposedly charged up okay the night before. But by the time I caught the big fish, they were about done. A half hour later, I was done...no power. So I headed back to the ramp, and decided to spend the rest of the day working around our cabin on the river, where I'd spend the night. Saturday morning was just too nice. I had to get back on the river. So as soon as the local boat dealer opened at 8 AM, I was there buying trolling motor batteries. I put in at the nearest access to the cabin and headed upriver, hoping the crankbait bite would continue. First spot, two small bass. Second spot, nothing. I tried a couple of riffle bottom eddies. Nothing. Headed upriver as far as I wanted to fish back down, and stopped at a pool that usually produced both winter and summer bass. Two more dinks. The next pool downstream has one of the best riffle bottom eddies of any pool on this stretch. The riffle is fast and dumps into the pool at a near 90 degree angle, with a smallish but beautiful eddy that drops off into 12 feet of water abruptly. First cast with the crankbait--16 incher. Second cast--a heavier fish struck. After the bad guess the day before, I figured when I saw this one that it was probably 18 inches. But it was another heavy female, and this time when I put it on the ruler, it came to 19 inches. The eddy produced four more fish, each one a little smaller than the last, the last one barely 11 inches. I fished down the pool below, catching one more small fish. By that time, you could tell it was a spring Saturday...the jetboat motorheads were showing up, people buzzing up and down the river joyriding, and I was getting a little annoyed. It sure is nicer to fish during the week. I came to a marginal riffle bottom eddy, and caught a marginal fish from it. Next one didn't look as good, and didn't produce anything. I couldn't find any more that looked like they would hold fish. I caught two more little ones, and then it was 4 PM and I was ready to call it quits. But it was nice to get into a couple of good fish, anyway.
  32. 3 points
    Because there are so many facets to this Lake Taneycomo trout story, it's hard to know where to begin. The prime fact is that Paul Crews of Neosho, MO, landed the biggest brown trout Saturday anyone's ever caught in the state of Missouri to date. It was officially weighed by Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist Shane Bush and documented at 34 pounds and 10 ounces. That beat the previous state record by a little more than six pounds, caught by Scott Sandusky of Arnold, MO, in November, 2009, also on Lake Taneycomo. Crews and partner, Jimmy Rayfield of Salem, MO, were fishing together in a trout tournament hosted by Lilleys' Landing Resort & Marina on upper Lake Taneycomo. It's called the Vince Elfrink Memorial, named after Vince who was an avid sportsman, husband, father, and friend to many of the participants of the contest, including Crews and Rayfield. Vince passed away in 2011 of brain cancer at the age of 52. And just so happens that the pair won last year's tournament, sealed by a 21-inch brown trout Rayfield had caught. The pair beat out 36 other teams to win this year's event. The day started out foggy and wet, but the afternoon brought out the sun and wind. We all were watching for thunderstorms early but anticipating the high winds forecast for later in the day, and they did arrive about 2 p.m.. Fishing in wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h. is not easy, especially tossing a small 1/8th ounce, sculpin-colored jig around. Working a lure that small in high winds is tough, even with four-pound line, but feeling a bite is virtually impossible, unless it's a huge fish, I guess. Crews and Rayfield had had a good day up to the minute the big fish was hooked. They had been fishing down from Lilleys' Landing most of the day but ventured up to the mouth of Fall Creek to make a drift, working their jigs along the east bank. Crews said they were in shallow water, able to see the bottom under their boat as they drifted. Table Rock Dam was releasing water at a rate of 6,850 cubic feet per second, generating two units at 3 p.m. Even with the difficulty of the wind blowing his line, Crews still felt a "tap" and set the hook. That's when the excitement started. The fish came off the bank where it was hooked and ran toward the duo, swimming under their boat. Crews had to scramble his new rig, spinning it around so that his line didn't catch the edge of the boat or trolling motor. The trout stayed down almost the entire fight, so Crews didn't really know what he had until the very end, but he knew it was big enough "to probably win the tournament" if he landed it. Little did he know . . . "Frank'' eventually headed across the lake to the bluff bank, then switched back to the middle and eventually returned to the inside bank where docks dot the shore. Yes, the fish has a name explained later in the story. Frank then headed to places he's probably familiar with -- the docks. Crews said he swam under at least two docks. That heightened the high risk that the line might be cut on the dock itself or boats in the docks. Crews, a seasoned angler, kept his rod way down in the water to keep the line from rubbing on anything that would end his fight. At one point, Crews said that Frank quit moving. He thought for sure Frank had wrapped his line around something and escaped. But Frank was just resting, and a fish that big can do whatever he wants to do. Eventually, he came out, tired and ready to give in. Rayfield worked their net over his head and the pair hoisted the fished into the boat. They were just above Short Creek when the fight ended. Crews had just bought a new boat and this was its maiden voyage. Fortunately, the live well was just big enough to fit Frank in, but he filled every bit of it. Word got back to me that they were boating in with a huge fish, so we had everything ready to receive the package. Frank was immediately placed in a large, aerated tank on our dock to rest after his ordeal. We determined right off the bat that we'd try to keep Frank alive regardless if he was a new record or not. Once he uprighted himself and was swimming around, we pulled him out and recorded a quick, unofficial weight of 33.4 pounds. He was easily a new Missouri state record. Now we had to come up with a plan to transport him to the hatchery to be officially weighed. We filled a stock tank full of lake water and that's where Frank rode, guarded by admirers in the back of my truck on the five-mile ride to the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery. Shane Bush was there with hatchery personnel, ready with their official scale to see if Frank made the record books or not. Everything was done quickly and carefully, pulling him out of the stock tank to the scale, verifying his weight at 34 pounds, 10 ounces, and then moving him to an aerated tank in Shane's truck. We still had no pictures out of the water, just shaky videos, but the goal was to return him back in the lake as quickly as possible. We caravaned down to the boat ramp access, less than a mile from the weigh in site. Shane needed to get some official measurements before release -- 38 inches long with a 27-inch girth. He confirmed our observations that the adipose fin had been clipped, which identified Frank as a triploid brown trout. I'll explain what that means later. The sun was about to set over Table Rock Dam, so we hurried to the edge of the water to take a few pictures -- Crews and Rayfield with the new Missouri state record brown trout. We slipped Frank into the water, and Crews gently held him there until he swam out of his hand. We followed him a little ways downstream until he turned and swam close to the bank, holding his own in the swift water. Frank dashed the record books, survived being fought, handled, trucked, weighed, trucked and photographed and before sundown was back in Lake Taneycomo -- we hope to keep growing and maybe, just maybe, give someone else a chance to catch a state record fish. Crews lives with his best friend and wife, Rita, and their son Matthew in Neosho, Missouri. They own Crews Construction and specialize in wastewater treatment plant construction. He is an avid outdoorsman, but his home waters are the Spring and Neosho rivers as well as Grand Lake, so he rarely fishes for trout except in the annual tournament honoring his fishing buddy. Frank's story - we've always had trout hovering under our dock, feeding on pieces and parts of fish discarded from our fish cleaning facility. And on occasion there will be a big trout, either brown or rainbow, stop by for a treat. They move up and down the lake seeking out the best meal, never staying in one spot very long. One day about three years ago, Duane Doty (dockhand and guide for Lilleys' Landing) spotted a very large brown. He stood out from the other trout. He was a brute. Duane called him Frank. Shortly after Frank showed up, another brown trout showed up and he was much bigger! Duane changed Frank's name to Frankie and called the new addition Frank. We have since videoed and photographed Frank many times when he has trolled by, so we have good records on him. To sum up this incredible story up, fishing in a memorial tournament, named after his best friend, Paul Crews hooks a fish in extremely adverse conditions, fights a 34-pound fish on four-pound line for 20 minutes around docks, logs and boat traffic and lands it using a small trout net. He fits it in his live well and keeps it alive while transporting it to be officially weighed, measured and photographed and released back in the lake successfully to keep the story alive. And Crews says, "Praise the Lord!" Credit: Ryan Miloshowski for pictures.
  33. 3 points
    I haven’t posted in a while. But, yesterday’s outing was a big one for me. I launched in the afternoon and jetted through pelting rain to chase smallies. The conditions seemed good for some bigger fish to be out feeding. And, the Meramec River did not disappoint. On consecutive casts, I caught a 20.25” and then a 20.5”, breaking my previous Meramec PB of 20” and 4.2#. My scale decided to not work, so I don’t have weights on these two fishThe bigger one looked like a real warrior—it’s jaws were scarred up and had a bunch of holes. What did I catch them on, you ask? The new HD Hellgrammites (green pumpkin) on a shakey head jig. I bought a few packs at Denny Dennis in Fenton. So, thanks Tackle HD for helping me catch (and release) truly awesome fish!
  34. 3 points

    It was a bit breezy

    Little more about today. I always do these things last minute. I had been thinking about going down to Roaring River for a few days but still I did nothing to prepare. So when I woke this morning it was a bit of a scramble to make sure I had everything, or at least something. I grabbed my main trout fly box. Pathetic. I mean really, do I ever even try? Grabbed a box of midges and my bottle of eggs. While I was waiting on coffee I remembered that Tim from Tim's Fly Shop had made a post on FB about catching fish on a wooly. Specifically a purple/olive wooly. Well I didn't have that color. I had a black one. Yes one. Then I remembered that Ness had sent me a couple from the fly swap. I actually found one of those and rigged up my rod before I left the house. The drive down was beautiful. But I could tell the wind was starting to pick up. I wasn't worried though, it shouldn't really hurt the fishing. I made it to the park and did my normal drive through just to see what was up and it wasn't the water. Seemed a bit low but looked really good. I finally parked and started at the lower part of Zone 1. I started off with the wooly and soon had a fish on. Then another. And then the wind really picked up. Flies were being blown upstream and my already horrible casting was starting to get worse. I went down a few holes and then decided to head upstream. Just past the lower bridge in Zone 1 I ran into a guy that had been having some luck on dries. But he said the wind had blown leaves in the stream and choked it out. I was skeptical. How bad could it be? It was bad, really bad. Not many places to cast. So I packed up and headed down to the lower part of Zone 2. Started off with a rubberlegs and caught one. Tried to convince them to hit an egg and did land one nice fat one on that. The wind wasn't as bad down here and there weren't many leaves in the water. I also noticed that the trout were sipping something off the surface. So I pulled out the mostly empty fly box and found two griffith's gnats. They weren't pretty. What the hell, let's give it a shot. So I pick out a good looking little spot and make a cast. Soon as the fly touched the water a trout took it. Released it and made another cast with the same result. I think I even had one fish take it out of the air before it landed. Brought 7 to hand before I popped that one off on something behind me. Tied on the next one, the last one, and continued to catch fish. I only made it to 4 fish before I got careless and slapped a bush next to me and lost that fly. I searched through my box to find another one or any dry for that matter but there were none. Tied on and caught one on a soft hackle and then decided to give the wooly one more try before heading out. I turned a couple but they were so keyed in on the surface they just wouldn't commit. As I headed back to the car I realized how freaking cold it was starting to get and yes the wind was still really blowing. Back in the car I poured myself a nice hot cup of coffee and started making plans for filling my fly box and making another trip back down. It had turned out to be a pretty good day.
  35. 3 points

    Logperch at Last

    When we were at the Johnson Shut-ins last week, I saw several different species of fish that I would love to catch including several greenside darters and a couple of logperch. The logperch is one of Missouri's largest darter species and one species that I had not yet seen let alone had the opportunity to catch. Also this area also has the brook darter. I didn't get to fish the last time down, so I packed up my daughter and we went yesterday as sort of a pre-Father's day event. BilletHead has started discussions on several occasions about what would you do for a single fish, drive 40 minutes, 2 hours, 4 hours, ... I have always felt that it could be worth it for the experience. With that in mind we set off at 5:45 am to the Black river to fish below the shut-ins (ended up as a 420 mile round trip) for the hope of catching a brook darter, greenside darter, and/or a logperch. Knowing that you cannot fish in the designated swim areas I had a plan to pack in our fishing gear and hike down river. We ended up on a trail that headed up the hills above the shut-ins. Finally we found a side trail that headed back down towards the river. We did see a couple of lizards along the way including this male fence lizard. You can just make out his blue patch of breeding coloration on his side. Believe it or not, Livie was not able to catch this guy. Don't worry she caught a few other things with her hands (more on them later). After an invigorating hike with a couple of white knuckle slides, we made it to the river. Saw lots of fish including many darters right off the bat. Could be a good day! We got the rods rigged up and baited (using in nightcrawler pieces instead of redworms because that's what we had at home). Of course Livie caught a small green sufish right off - with her HANDS ! Then she caught one with her rod. While she was catching sunfish, I focused on trying after the micros around me. I caught a few bleeding shiners right off the bat before I targeted the darters around us. We each targeted the more colorful darters, which were likely to be the males. Based upon their size, I was fairly certain that we had caught brook darters. It was not until I uploaded the photos that it became apparent that we had in fact caught small rainbow darters. Still nice looking fish, but somewhat disappointed because If I had looked closer at them we could have kept fishing for the brooks. After catching these guys, I focused on trying to find and catch some other darters. Livie was excited catching a bunch of longear sunfish which is always the case when you catch the first few . I was even happy to catch a few as a break from trying not to fall on the slick rocks (Note use felts soled boots if you have them!) and hunting for some new species. I found a spot that had a few greenside darters. Livie was first up to try for these guys. This is a species that can be difficult to get on a bait or to catch once they do go after your bait. Livie suffered through both scenarios with one of two fish just being spooked by the bait or not being able to get a hook set on the fish if it did bite. She got very frustrated and gave me the rod. I had a bit better success in terms of getting fish interested in the baits, but never got one hooked. I lifted a few out of the water and one actually flew out of the water and almost landed in the catch bag Livie was holding. Both of us were frustrated and moved on. Didn't get another chance at any greenside darters. Another frustration was trying to hook the nightcrawler pieces onto the small hooks, The worm pieces were a bit large and did not stay on the hooks very well. Livie did get a nice hand caught bullfrog tadpole as a consolation prize. I chased studfish and blackstripe topminnows as I continued downstream, but either spooked them or could not get them hooked. I came up to a large deeper pool. I caught sight of a large striped darter, the first logperch sighting!! I just had a topminnow strip my bait and had to call Livie to head back down to me with the bait and the rest of our gear. I spooked the first one that I tried to get on my bait. I didn't see another one for 5 or 10 mins. Then there were two in a spot about 20 feet from me. I snuck up to them and spooked them again. This time they came back quickly to the same spot. I dropped my bait and got bit as soon as it hit the water, it was a longear sunfish, then another, and another. I started seeing more logperch, but every one of them seemed to be surrounded by two or more sunfish. I ended up putting on another sinker to get the bait quickly through the gauntlet of sunfish down to the logperch. Once the bait got down to the darters, they would go after it or the sinkers or the bait or sinkers.... Or another sunfish! Finally the cry of "Get the bag.. Get the bag!" rang out and the first logperch of the day was in the bag. Livie was up next and she had much the same experience with about 15 to 20 sunfish caught before she caught her logperch near this brush. Unfortunately it did not get into the bag for a photo. She was heartbroken and spent another 20 plus minutes trying for another one only to catch at least another 7 or 8 sunfish. Severely dehydrated we left and hiked back to the car. We got dinner at Kettlehut smokehouse in Festus MO and split a piece of their lemon cheesecake pie!
  36. 3 points

    Panfish Party

    It took a couple of days here in Maryland, but I finally got out and fished. With my travel schedule I have been trying to get in on some panfish spawning. Back in Missouri I got into some crappie. Now I hoped to get into some bluegill or readear sunfish at Tuckahoe lake like I did last year in May. I tied on a John Deere microjig that I picked up at Weaver's tackle store in Lebanon, MO the last time I fished Bennett's Spring. Even with the 4# Pline I can cast this tiny 1/125 oz bait 20 to 25 feet. If the fish were in ths spots that I caught them last year I wouldn't have to cast much further than 25 feet. I fished the jig without a float. The first spot I tried I did not get a bite on three casts. I hoped that this wouldn't be a busted trip. I went to another spot where I had caught bluegill previously. I made a cast out between some emergent plants and the line straightened out as the jig dropped and I set the hook on a nice bluegill. I caught a few more from that spot. Most of the fish took the bait as the jig dropped at the end of the cast. On one of the casts I did not get a bite until I jigged it a bit and got it close to the weeds and got a surprise bite, a black crappie. This was the first crappie I have caught in Maryland. Yes I do have a list of fish that I have caught in Maryland ! Once the bites slowed, I moved to another sandy spot where people put in canoes and kayaks. I had caught pumpkinseed sunfish here last year and I could see beds in the sand. As luck would have it I caught another pumpkinseed in that location. These are just beautiful fish. I moved to the dock and caught several more nice bluegill. Then I got a stronger fighting fish and landed my fish redear of the night. A dark male. I could see the fish moving around the dock. I also thought that I saw a long dark shadow at the corner of the dock. Several of the bluegill were over 8 inches in length and this redear was almost 10". I ended the night with a dozen bluegill, eight readear, a pumpkinseed, and three black crappie in 84 minutes of fishing. I made a cast up near some brush and lifted what I thought was a branch and it was a 14 to 16 inch largemouth near where I had seen the shadow. I did not get the hook set well enough and the bass swam away unharmed. It was a great night. The only thing better would have been able to share this with my daughter or some OAF friends.
  37. 3 points
    I survived another year of crazy... Saturday we woke up, had some breakfast and then hit basspro for a bit to pick up a new hoodie wife bought me. Grabbed some more soft plastics while we were there to go beat on the bass again. Got a late start but my older two daughters still have the fish whispering down pat and the oldest hooked up on her first cast. Followed by my middle one shortly after. Nothing huge, but makes me proud they are catching all on their own, and fishing by feel too which for me took way longer to really get the hang of when I was young. It was about 90 so they didn't last too long. Wife and kids headed in and I got a few hours of quiet time to chase them on my own. Caught a couple solid fish and saw a big ol girl that would probably go 6lbs easy in the back end of the pond. I will say I'm starting to be a true believer in HUK gear. I have a few fishing shirts to keep the sun off me, but I picked up their vented hoodie and it's just a great clothing item I wish I would of found sooner. Was hot in direct sun, but had a breeze and I stayed nice and cool even with my hood up to protect my bald head lol. My dad had 9 spots on his hands and arms burned of recently so I am trying to be more cautious when out in the sun. Overall was a great day too spend with the wife and kiddos.
  38. 3 points
    Me and a buddy arrived at Crane Creek the morning of May 8th, starting at the Lower Access bridge. About 100 yards downstream at the first bend in the stream we each landed our first McCloud. The reputation of these fish as strong fighters is well deserved. I was fishing a prince nymph and my friend had on a sow bug. He caught another one a little further down at the next major bend in the stream. We ended up fishing a few hundred yards further downstream, which required some bushwhacking, but turned back at a point when the stream go much wider, swifter, and more difficult to access because of steep banks. After a short break, we drove into town and parked at the baseball fields. From there, we walked the railroad tracks to the trestle and started fishing our way back upstream. We came across a few nice holes, but didn't have much action until my friend hooked a really nice 14 incher a short distance downstream from the ball field. It put up a considerable a fight and quite a bend in his 7' 4wt. I caught my second fish of the day directly behind the baseball field on a bead-head crackleback. We got a few more bites in the park area, but the only other fish caught were fingerlings. We also scouted the middle and upper access areas, but the water was much smaller and we weren't up to the task of walking significant distances to find fishable holes. It was a hot day and we were both exhausted. So five McClouds between us for our inaugural trip to Crane Creek. We both agreed it was a successful day of fishing and we would return. Thanks to everyone who contributes to this forum and who answered the questions I posted prior to my trip to Crane. The information was very helpful.
  39. 3 points
    So CajunAngler and I headed North for our annual Spring Fishing Trip. This was a terrible year to decide to try a lake further north, but that’s how it goes. I was pushing to go back to Oklahoma, but he bamboozled me with talknof catching a Musky. Pomme here we come. Sunday AM I’m driving thru snowy sub freezing temps with heavy clouds and a pretty stiff wind from NW. Things didn’t look so Great, but we’re hard headed and reasoned that the weather would steadily improve as the week wore on. We stowed our gear inthe rental place and launched at an unimproved ramp in Decker Creek. Water temp was 51 or so. Water had a Lot of stain, but wasn’t muddy. Wind was brutal, but we bundled up. First freaking cast of the trip, Johnny catches a 4 plus LMB on an A rig. As it turns out, That was the only A rig fish on the week, but still. Fish was holding in 15 FOW on downside of wind blown point. We move inside the pocket a little bit and first freaking cast with a Wart he catches a 6 lb 9 oz Largemouth. I’m freaking out over the fast start and the quality of the fish he caught. Before too long, I got a > 3 lb Largie on a crank. Warts, RK’s, and the like would occasionally catch a fish the rest of the day. It was a grind, but quality of the fish was Excellent and we were Happy to be getting bit at all. We almost didn’t fish and assumed we might zero. We planned.on quitting a little early, but stayed to almost dark. Monday was colder and almost as windy, but no snow and no clouds. It felt a little warmer, but water temp was slow to respond. Fish were slow. Crankbait fish were not biting. Johnny got a Goo on a jerkbait to get us started. I got a non keeper on a Ned. We headed into Quarry area to get out of wind. Johnny got a couple little guys on Ned. I was trying a GYCB 4 inch Twin Tail Hula Grub in 236. Throwing tight to rock wall and hopping it down the ledges. No much happening, but I stuck with it. So, I lifted it up after a cast and it felt heavy. A sharp lift up for the hookset and there was no response just got heavier and heavier. Johnny asked what was up and I honestly did not know. Finally, I got some slow kicks deeer and deeper under the boat so I knew I had something heavy. Eventually, I worked it up to the surface and we got a big flash of color as it drove down again and Johnny asked if that was a Musky. I realized it was a Musky. Holy Crap! I’ve got a Musky hooked up. Johnny got a big net out and helped me get the beast in the net. It had been caught before and didn’t look pristine. The fight was fairly subdued for a fish just under 38 inches which was good since I had 8 lbs line. Woot Woot! My day was made andda new fish added to Lifetime list. Monday afternoon we continued to search around and caught a few more fish primarily on Ned rigs. No more crankbait fish. Saw water temps approaching 56, but most places cooler. Tuesday Morning was warmer with fun temps forecast for afternoon. We packed shorts in the boat. We launched in Pittsburgh Public Use area. That ramp is fairly far up Lindley Creek. That ramp is long and steep with a poorly designed and executed turn around area. All parking on top of hill so there is a long walk back to boat. Another windy day, but out of south. It warmed nicely. The fish did not care. It was still a grind. Ran around lots of places, but finally Johnny said let’s go back to dirty water up river. We found warmer water and a few fish in some wood cover. I got a 4 lb ad a 3 lb LMB pitching Baby Brush Hogs, Johnny got a few chunky bass as well. We got to wear shorts. Life was Good. Wednesday the forecast was for even heavier winds from NW again with falling temps. We opted for lauching at Boliver and going as far up Pomme De Terre river as we dared. we got a couple of nice fish in shallow dirty water off river channel. We kept heading up looking for a wind break and exploring the river. We went far enough that the water got clear and the river bottom got rocky. Johnny said no more when electronics said 2 FZoW under keel. We expected smallies, but caught everything else except smallies. Using a variety of baits we caught LMB, Drum, White Bass (Small), crappie, and a little walleye. It’s beautiful up there and we caught fish, but quality was gone. We talked it over during the day and decided to head in a little early and load up. We fished BSL Thursday and caught almost 30 bass with a lot of keepers including some smallies. All in all a good trip. Fishing was slow because of water temp, but quality was excellent. I know they must have good numbers of fish, but you would know it by the numbers we caught. I was surprised at how small all the White Bass were. What’s the deal with that. I was stunned by the amount of used fishing line we caught with our lures. At least 11 times we got tangled in lost or discarded fishing line. Id love to go back to Pomme De Terre in early Summer or Fall.
  40. 3 points
    With his father's help, Zaniel Cole, 8, has done the unthinkable in Oklahoma. Not only did Zaniel snag a 100-pound paddlefish, but he also managed to snag a rare shovelnose sturgeon the very same day! Paddlefish and shovelnose sturgeon are distant cousins in the order Acipenseriformes and date to the time of the dinosaurs, which is why they are referred to as "prehistoric fishes." Although they are the most abundant sturgeon in North America, shovelnose sturgeon numbers have declined over the past century and they are rare in Oklahoma. So, catching a shovelnose sturgeon the same day as a 100-pound paddlefish is a notable thrill. Shovelnose sturgeon are not federally protected in Oklahoma, but they are listed as a Species of Special Concern in Category II. This means there is insufficient information to adequately evaluate the population status or species trend in Oklahoma. Harvest of shovelnose sturgeon is legal with a limit of one per day. However, any shovelnose sturgeon caught in the state is required to be reported to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Zaniel and his father, Adam, released the shovelnose sturgeon and reported their catch to the Wildlife Department. Their story was shared on the Wildlife Department's Facebook page and has quickly become very popular. Learn more about the shovelnose sturgeon in the upcoming May/June issue of Outdoor Oklahoma, the official Wildlife Department magazine. Anglers should take special precautions when handling paddlefish. It is best to avoid holding or grabbing the fish by its jaw or gills. Just remember to #HugAPaddlefish (Photos Courtesy of Adam Cole)
  41. 3 points

    Crappie picking up

    Fished upper Osage yesterday, rigging minnows in 12-23 FOW fish seemed scattered water temp 50s seen some 58 in back of a pocket. Have concealed the GPS info on pic as it might be within air gun range of a certain mechanic who frequents this site and I am kind of a dinosaur. Did encounter a school of whites and one of those mutt hybrids that Wrench refers too, Would have took pictures but it is a rather traumatic event rigging, ... have the bloody scared hands to show for it. Afterwards a friend had a limit out of one well under a slip bobber and minnow. It is getting better but this darn weather.
  42. 3 points
    Brad Wright was experimenting and tied a jig the night before the big day. Knowing that the trout bit on cracklebacks and woolys, he thought a small jig made with both a tail as well as hackle palmered on the body would work. It was a rainy, foggy 40-degree Wednesday morning with winds blowing out of the northeast and no water running. He started about 7:20 in the morning by outlet #1 with a rapala. “I jerked and twitched, jerked and twitched, and nothing ever bit,” he said. He switched to the jig and float. First he tried the jig with six-pound line on his spinning rod, then switched to four-pound spool with two-pound tippet tied past the indicator. On the first cast he caught a rainbow, about 18 inches long; consecutive casts yielded another rainbow and then two or three browns, approximately three pounds. He then re-tied his knot to the jig and continued casting. On the second or third cast, the big bruiser hit, taking off downstream. As Brad followed, he slipped and fell onto a big rock. “I lost my footing and my right elbow hit on the rock – but I didn’t drop my rod.,” Wright recalled. The fish continued its run, and headed right in front of a man from Kansas. As Wright was regaining his balance and in pursuit, the other angler called out,”Son, do you know how big this fish is?” About 10 pounds, Wright ventured. “Try doubling that,” the man replied. The race was on. After a joint downstream, the fish led him back upstream past outlet #2 and to the far side of the lake. Before catching up with him, Brad managed to fall several more times in his pursuit. He and the fish were all the way past the cable when the horn blew, warning that generation was starting. Once the whistle blew, to Brad’s surprise, the fish headed back downstream. Wright knew he had to get back to the hatchery side of the lake and at that time the fish had reeled off over 80 yards of line. As the water level rose, he started across, bobbing up and down trying to keep his feet beneath him. Suddenly the big brown made a beeline for a log just below the first outlet and stopped. At that point, Wright and the onlookers who had been witnessing the chase for and hour and a half, gathered around. Brad wanted to see where the jig was hooked now that the brown was resting. Positioning himself over the fish, he put his hand into its mouth; he could see the jig was caught between two front teeth. Later he surmised if the jig was anywhere else the 2-pound line surely would have been cut. With his other hand he grabbed a gill plate and slung the huge brown onto dry ground. Brad took the brown trout up to Angler’s Archery for Chuck to inspect. Unofficially it weighed over 26 pounds. Chuck, after looking up the current world record for 2-pound line, told Brad he needed to take it and get it officially weighed so off they went to Consumers grocery to be weighed on one of their meat scales. By the time it was weighed on the Consumers grocery store official scales, two hours had elapsed. Wright figures the fish probably actually weighed about 30 pounds right out of the water. After it was all said and done, Brad’s brown trout is in the record books as the biggest, recorded fish caught on 2-pound line in the world. The fish was mounted and now is on display at Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri.
  43. 3 points

    Fishing in Islamorada post IRMA

    November is nearing it's end here and we've already had our first legit cold front of the winter! It's very early for it to be getting as cold as it did, but the weather has been crazy the last few years thats for sure. It dipped down into the mid 60s here, and looks like Sunday night it will be doing so again! We actually even have a tropical depression that is suppose to be making its way here during the day too and it's kind of made our weekend a wash. Luckily though it will just be a good bit of rain and heavier than normal winds. Fishing has been decent I myself have been doing the everglades things mostly. Before the front we were having good action with some juvenile tarpon and snook back there. Had a few days that were very good when it was nice and calm, and the water cleaned up substantially, and some other days where the wind was cranking but we were still able to pick away at some fish and had OK catches. Mid October had Colin and Stephen over from the UK, they enjoyed catching a good number of snook and they each got a medium sized tarpon and also a big lemon shark. The following day I had Jerry and his son in law Mark, they also enjoyed a good day of snook plus a couple redfish, and we got a couple of bigger 10-12 lb snook fishing deeper water as well as another lemon shark too. Had my dad and Ron Modra out for a fun day after that, we got about 8 snook and 3 juvenile tarpon... the snook were larger on average than the previous days which was cool just not as many. Had Philip and his buddy Andre for some tarpon fishing one day... we didn't have luck withe the tarpon we did hook one but lost him, though we banged up the snook pretty good landing a dozen or so. Half day with Mario and Steve who are Florida folk, we caught a few snappers for dinner and got 3 juvenile tarpon while doing that and a snook and couple sharks it was great fishing! And the last couple days after the front we had, we caught redfish, drum, and snook mostly. Those trips were with long time customer John Watson and his family, and then Bud, Anna, and Kyle whom enjoyed their first trip back in the everglades! It looks like after sunday the weather will be nicer again, it is suppose to dip down into the 60s again but then slowly warm up. Northeast winds most of the week 15mph or so, which should be ideal for most of our fall/winter fishing. I think the tarpon thing is more or less over, may have some shots at small guys when the water temps are 70 or more, but for the most part bet on doing the cooler weather options. That usually includes snook, redfish, drum, and trout in the 'glades. Mackerels should start showing up in the gulf which I haven't had any reports on yet but with this cold weather I'm sure there are some out there. Also patch reef fishing will be an option, but usually that's a little easier with less wind or at least due north wind. Capt. Rick Stanczyk Facebook Instagram rick@seethefloridakeys.net Islamorada Backcountry Charters with Capt. Rick Stanczyk
  44. 3 points
    MDC congratulates Craig Barulich on breaking the pole-and-line state record by catching a 3-pound skipjack herring on the Missouri River. KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that Craig Barulich of Kansas City became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri when he hooked a skipjack herring on the Missouri River using a rod and reel. The new “pole and line” skipjack herring record caught by Barulich on Nov. 12 weighed 3 pounds. It broke the previous state record of 2 pounds, 11 ounces. Barulich was using a 3/8-ounce white Bink’s Pro Series Spoon for bait trying to catch walleye and saugers when he caught the skipjack herring. “The day I caught the state-record skipjack herring was the day I actually caught my first skipjack,” Barulich said. “I was so grateful that day to just catch skipjack that I didn’t even know I caught a state record fish until I got home.” Barulich noticed how large one of the skipjack herrings was when he was taking it out of the cooler to freeze it for catfish bait. “I weighed the large skipjack and googled to confirm that my fish was a possible state record,” he said. MDC staff weighed Barulich’s skipjack herring on a certified scale at the Kansas City regional office and confirmed it was a new pole-and-line state-record skipjack herring. “I am so honored and humbled to hold a state record here in Missouri,” Barulich said. “Just thinking about holding a record for a unique fish makes me speechless.” Anglers often catch skipjack herring to use for bait. The fish is boney, lacking in flavor, and is seldom used as food. But it fights spectacularly when hooked and can provide considerable sport on light tackle. The oil present in its flesh is said by fishermen to attract catfish. Skipjacks can usually be found in swift water below dams and around the ends of wing dikes. Barulich said he plans on using the fish for catfish bait and having someone make a replica of the state-record skipjack herring. Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: throwlines, trotlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl. For more information on state-record fish, visit the MDC website at http://on.mo.gov/2efq1vl. Congratulations to Craig Barulich on breaking the pole-and-line state record by catching a 3-pound skipjack herring on the Missouri River.
  45. 3 points
    Not sure how to title this one. Went out this morning to get a baseline for a fishing report - try some things. They are running one unit of water, lake level 705.3 feet. I didn't get out till about 9 a.m. - boated up to just above the Narrows in the trophy area. I threw some jigs -- black, sculpin and olive -- with only a couple of bites. The midges were hatching in clouds and rainbows were taking them along the current edges close to the bluff bank. I didn't have my fly rod in the boat or I would have been throwing a small dry. I wanted to try one more thing before heading back -- a bead. We use beads in Alaska to catch big rainbows during the salmon spawning season and I'd been experiment with them here. You peg the bead, which comes in various sizes and colors, to your line about 2 inches above a small hook. Then you pinch a small split shot above the bead about 2 feet. I was using 4 pound line. Throw it out and drift it like you would any fly or bait. Bump it on the bottom. I picked up 2 small rainbows and had 3 more good strikes. Both rainbows had the hook in its mouth, not outside of it. Then I thought, let's do a comparison. So I boated back up to the top of the Narrows and drifted a #12 grey scud (200R hook) using the same split shot. Caught one small rainbow right off the bat. Then got a good strike, then another. I thought it would be about the same result. But towards the end of the faster water, I hooked something that surprised me. Why surprise? Well, I wasn't ready for something to pull hard enough to break my line, plus my drag wasn't set for it either. Nor did I have my anti-reel switched so I couldn't reel backwards like I usually do. Luckily, my line held up as the drag started to slip a little. Then I was able to flip the switch and reel backwards. It was a good fish but the hard fast run fooled me. I didn't think it was as big as it was. It stayed deep for almost the entire fight, making 3 long runs and fought hard close to the boat to stay down. I grabbed the Gopro, turned it on and set it up on the bar. The video shows the fight towards the middle to the end, not the long runs. I netted the fish but kept it in the water. I called Duane at the resort and asked him to come up with the camera to take some pics. He was on a room repair mission so it took a while for him to boat up to where I was. I drifted down to a spot on the bank where I could get out with the fish. It's way too hard to get good, SAFE pics of a trophy trout while in a boat. I say safe for the fish, not me. I didn't want to raise the rainbow out of the water unless it was for a few quick pictures. The color of this big sow were incredible! I was blessed to have landed and released. I did get a measurement, marking my spinning rod against her length while in the net. I set it on a measuring board and was surprised to see it was 28.25 inches long. It didn't seem that long in the water. The release.....
  46. 3 points
    I had planned on fishing around Akers Ferry to try for a few more new species for the 2017 season. I had caught two new species, the central stoneroller and the striped shiner, for 2017 at Montauk earlier in the day, I knew that knobfin sculpin were prevalent in that part of the Current river. Last year I had caught southern redbelly dace in a small creek near the Ferry access. So I was confident that we could catch at least a couple of new species on this trip. Livie caught the first knobfin sculpin of the trip, which was her first of this species. Then I caught one as well. I would love to say that it was challenging to catch these scuplin, but once we found some they were everywhere. Microfishing to me is not about high numbers, but targeting some new species. We could have caught many more sculpin, but went after darters and minnows instead. Livie caught the first darter, a female rainbow darter. We switched rods and I caught my first rainbow darter of the year (4th new species on the day; first fish below). I was surprised that the males still had some of their breeding coloration like Livie's male (second fish). We were surrounded by a large school of larger minnows. I caught one of these guys, another central stoneroller. They frustrated Livie to no end and she just could not get one to bite again. By this time it was getting really hot (possibly up to the mid 90s). After leaving the river, I still wanted to see if we could catch a southern redbelly dace. unfortunately the creek was just a trickle due to the lack of rain this summer. We had a great day. At the end of this trip, I had caught more different sp[ecies than I have ever done is a given year. I also have caught a larger number of fish in a given year than I ever have before. Yet I feel that there are still many species yet to catch and it may be possible that I may catch many more fish yet this year.
  47. 3 points
    Al Agnew

    Memories of the Meramec

    I've floated the entire river from Short Bend to Times Beach. In fact, I floated the whole thing in one trip one time. It took 12 days, and it rained on my friend Clyde and I 8 out of the 12 days. The first two days, down to Maramec Spring, was nice weather and terrific fishing, including several 17-19 inch smallies. Then it rained the second night, Dry Fork turned to mud, and the next two days down to Steelville it was too muddy to fish. It finally started clearing below Steelville and the fishing got good again, and just kept getting better. I remember catching a 19 incher just below the mouth of the Huzzah, another one above Meramec State Park, and a third one just above St. Clair. We stopped at St. Clair, called Clyde's uncle, and he came down and delivered us a Pizza Hut pizza. Below St. Clair I caught two smallmouths that were both 21 inches. Then the rains came again, the Bourbeuse got muddy, and below it we couldn't fish for the rest of the trip. That was in 1982. At the time, the Meramec was probably the best big smallmouth stream in MO. There was excellent smallie fishing all the way down to Times Beach. I caught some big fish in the Pacific area in those years. Then the spotted bass started showing up, and now smallmouths are a rarity below St. Clair. That stretch from St. Clair to the mouth of the Bourbeuse used to be my favorite stretch of river for big smallies. Bob Todd and I once caught 8 smallmouths between 19 and 21 inches in one day on that section! One of my two biggest Ozark stream smallmouths came from the Meramec. It was during the height of the controversy over the Meramec Dam, and I'd never floated the stretch that was slated to be buried by the dam, so I figured I'd better check it out. So I put in at Onondaga and did a two day trip to Meramec State Park. The first fish I caught was a 19 inch largemouth, and the first day was pretty much non-stop action, with some very nice fish. I had a huge smallie follow my lure in right under the Campbell Bridge...I can still remember the sight of that fish. The second day the fishing was slightly slower, but I was fishing my homemade crankbait along a very deep clay bank when this big smallmouth engulfed it. The fish was 21.5 inches and 5 pounds even. Needless to say, after that trip I was VERY active in writing letters against the dam to newspapers and politicians. I've spent a lot of time on the trout water, hiked and climbed Cardiac and Suicide many times, had good days and bad. I even fished this water with Bob Knight, when he was still coaching at Indiana U. He was drifting nymphs through a piece of ugly, log-laced water just above Dry Fork, and getting hung up on every cast. After about the fifth time of snapping off and retying, he turned in disgust to go fish someplace else, and tripped over a submerged limb, falling flat on his face in two feet of water. The air turned blue for several miles up and downstream! The smallie fishing on the Meramec is a shadow of what it was in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The spotted bass took over the lower river, and the jet boat traffic took over much of the rest of it. For a while, the jetboat wakes apparently messed up the spawn...I believe the fish weren't adapted to the wakes and commotion and siltation caused by the advent of jetboats, and the population of smaller fish just dropped to almost nothing for a few years. So for a while there were very few bigger fish, as those year classes went through their life cycle. But the smallies eventually adapted, and the population went back up somewhat. But fishing pressure, and especially the increased gigging due to the convenience of jet boats, still keeps the smallmouth population much lower than it was when I first started fishing it. But the Meramec is still one of my favorite rivers. Beautiful green water, big bluffs, and smallmouths along with trout, what more can you ask for?
  48. 3 points
    Vic Eldrid and his friends were drifting just above Short Creek about noon today when something struck his minnow/Gulp white egg combo. It was big. The 3 guys in one of our jon boats had a time trying to get the big fish secure, tossing the one and only net from one end of the boat to the other. But they got it in somehow. Getting into the small livewell was a chore too... and I had a harder time getting it out! It's a 23.5 x 34.5 inch brown weighing 20.56 pounds. They said it would have weighed more if it hadn't coughed up a half digested rainbows just before they netted it. It's in a live tank reviving. If it makes it, it will be released.
  49. 3 points
    By Marideth Sisco originally published in the West Plains Daily Quill, August 1989 There is a village In the river hollows east of West Plains that once was the center of civillzation on a wild American frontier. Now, most of the world has passed by the tiny hamlet of Thomasvllle. The casual passerby would quickly note that only the oldtlmers and memories remain. Or so it appears. But in truth, life and memories continue side by side comfortably today in Thomasville -- the life enjoyed richly and the memories running deep for those whose names, and faces, are the same as first settled here in the long fertile valley of the Eleven Point River. Read More
  50. 3 points
    This is going to be a tough fishing report for me to write because trout fishing on Lake Taneycomo is pretty slow, except if you're fly fishing below the dam while the water is off. Then it's pretty good. There has been no generation during the day except in the evenings when dam operators might run a little "fish water" -- about 30 megawatts or a half-unit for a few hours. But this amount varies. Weekends it seems they're not running any at all. Oxygen levels continue to be very low, especially below the dam. The Department of Conservation has issued a warning about handling trout if the fish are to be released. The stress a good fight puts on a trout, especially a larger trout, can be deadly even without proper handling. Keeping a fish out of the water for any extended time lessens the chance of survival. If a trout is foul hooked, it's extremely hard to land it using light line. This, again, puts undo stress on a fish in these type of conditions and can kill it. You might think that it's almost impossible to foul hook a trout, but this time of year in the hatchery outlet flows, dozens of trout crowd a small stream of water, and drifting one or two flies through this group does greatly increase your chance to hook a fin or tail. If you choose to fish these outlets, you should be ready to break off your flies in order to not harm these fish if you foul hook a trout. Please don't fight it to death -- literally. So in reporting on fly fishing below the dam, yes, the outlets are full of fish, but there are so many more in all areas. The Rebar has rainbows and a few browns holding at the head, in the flow and out the tail of the flow. They are taking scuds mainly but also egg flies and San Juan worms. Between outlets one and two, rainbows are taking soft hackles and cracklebacks stripped close to the surface. Also strip pine squirrels and sculpins there as well as below outlet #2 and below Rebar. Down towards the boat ramp, fish a Zebra Midge under an indicator 12-to 24- inches deep. Night fly fishing below the dam has been pretty good. David Doty, Duane's brother, came down from St Louis with his wife Terry and his sister Jen, and they caught some nice trout on a variety of flies using glow stick indicators. David caught this nice 23-inch brown stripping a pine squirrel while the women caught some nice rainbow on scuds. Below Lookout, throw a 1/16th-ounce jigs using two-pound line straight, no float. Work them off the bottom in the channel as well as off the channel on the flats. Dark colors have been working best for me - scuplin, olive, brown and black. Using two-pound line is crucial because you can't really throw a 1/6th-ounce jig using four-pound line. Working a scud under an indicator has been working fairly well. It's best to fish if there's a choppy surface in the middle of the lake and up on the flats. I'm starting to use 7x tippet because I'm having a hard time getting bit. Not sure if the 7x helps, though, so you might want to start with 6x. The flat just above Fall Creek has had a lot of rainbows on it. They have taken a soft hackle stripped as well as a scud crawled around the bottom. I talked to some guys who went spotlight gigging for suckers last night. They said there's a ton of trout in the area down from the mouth of Fall Creek, and not as many suckers. I fly fished up there today, and I did see some good fish working midges, but I couldn't get them to take anything! Some people fishing off the bank caught several rainbows on night crawlers. I boated up to a half-mile below Fall Creek yesterday and fished night crawlers. I don't do that very often - mainly when the grandkids are down and I take them out. But I had to see just how tough fishing really was. I know if they're biting, I can catch them on crawlers. I used two-pound line and a small #3/0 split shot 12 inches above the worm. I used a half worm and shot some air in it to make it float. I ended up using six worms and missed hooking two bites, catching one. The other three trout I never saw or felt bite -- they just ate their worm without me even knowing it. That was in a two-hour time period. That's pretty slow in my book. Granted, I was throwing other things and not watching my bait rod as I should have been. Some anglers just come in from fishing this afternoon with their limits of rainbows. They said they boated down to Roark Creek and fished Powerbait up in the mouth. Fishing was sporadic, they said, but the did pretty well.
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